The Two Faces of Richard Mellon Scaife
Who is Richard Mellon Scaife
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|PART I - WHO IS RICHARD MELLON SCAIFE?|
Sources: Salon Magazine; Atlanta Journal Constitution; N.Y Times; Article by Robert G. Kaiser, Washington Post; Slate Magazine; and several other news sources
Why is it that most Christian Conservative Politicians are hypocritical when it comes to Sex, Marriage, Family Values, Bribery, Political Corruption, Malfeasance, Abortion, etc. List almost every Vice imaginable and Christian Conservative Politicians and their Donors have sat down at the corruption table and eaten their fill like pigs at a trough. We will leave it up to the reader to determine whether Richard Mellon Scaife has made serious errors in in judgment and committed acts against his religion. Although Richard has supported a Conservative Far Right Christian position especially when it comes to Church and State issues, it is apparent from the data collected, that the first amendment may be in danger from his past and future actions.
Richard Mellon Scaife's office stated that his position is that Certain Religions aren't "Real" religions. What is a real religion, Mr. Scaife? What you have been practicing? I think we should make that religion illegal. He says on the one hand that only certain Christian denominations are valid. But on the other hand, by all indications, he practices a religion of money and power and corruption. Read the following and remember: "By their Works may they be known." This is a summary of information collected from several sources about Richard Mellon Scaife.
(Remember it is best to investigate on your own when looking at allegations about anyone. Don't believe us, think for yourself and investigate for yourself! And remember, the First Amendment Coalition and Religious Freedom Coalition of the South East do not represent any political party nor do we recommend any political candidate, nor are we involving ourselves in the political process.)
ATTEMPT AT POLITICAL COERCION
During the last GOP convention in Philadelphia, artists were rounded up
and arrested before they ever got to leave their building (the "puppet
warehouse") They had the intention of protesting against Bush via street theater.
They were INFILTRATED by the PA State Police, accused of being terrorists (there was paint
thinner and wire in the warehouse used to make puppets but classified initially as bomb
making materials). In investigations by the ACLU and the Philadelphia Inquirer, it
was revealed that the PA Police infiltrated the group on a tip from a "Scaife
funded" organization -- that basically accused the group of being
"communists" (because a small communist group had donated $200 for materials to
build the puppets). Scaife is scared to death of the anti-global trade/fair trade message
that this group was really going to talk about. He sees it as a direct threat to his
personal wealth (as was discussed in lengthy Washington post articles about his
What was most alarming to me about this episode was that the far right culture war, funded by people like Scaife to silence the left, used PUBLIC AGENCIES such as the Pennsylvania and Philadelphia Police departments to forward a POLITICAL AGENDA OF SILENCING DISSENT. As taxpayers, we should expect our police agencies to be fair and to not take sides with regard to what a person's beliefs are. People should not be arrested for their BELIEFS. This is ultimately why municipal judges in Philadelphia dismissed all the cases (over 450, with the exception of 12 provable misdemeanors) in the Philadelphia convention crackdown. There was no evidence against these people. They were rounded up to prevent them from expressing themselves, as they have a right to do in a free country. The far right groups regularly hold conventions for law enforcement in which they finger point toward left leaning activists that they want off the street -- our law enforcement agencies follow what they say!
However, the Philadelphia police used extreme rhetoric in trying to demonize people with legitimate beefs against extreme capitalism, etc etc etc. They called them TERRORISTS. So, if you hold an opinion left of the KKK in America these days, you can be publicly slandered and called a TERRORIST by public agencies.
Its time to "OUT" how our public agencies are used, including surveillance technology, to spy on people who are not members of some far right control freak conservative activist network...
Scaife, Bush and Governor Ridge must have known that people would be arrested for no reason during the campaign. They are erasing the constitution...
Richard Mellon Scaife, the most generous donor to conservative causes in
American history, is astoundingly rich and has given away more than $600 million, yet is
known to people who have worked for him as a cheapskate.
He has given at least $340 million to fund a "war of ideas" against American liberalism, yet no one interviewed for these articles could remember him discussing a book he had read or recall an original idea that came from him.
In his own small world in Pittsburgh, Scaife is known as a man who wants to be in control, who wants employees who say "yes," who is capable of bearing grudges for years. Once, it is said by knowledgeable sources, he compelled the Mellon Bank to fire a newly hired attorney in the bank's legal department because the lawyer was the son of a former employee Scaife had turned against.
Scaife has broken off relations with numerous friends and associates, waged a bitter, prolonged divorce battle with his first wife, has strained relations with his son and no relations with his daughter. He and his sister haven't spoken for 25 years.
Yet his friends describe the man they call Dick Scaife as charming, warm, easy to be with. He himself said once, "I'm genial and I'm jovial."
Conservatives regularly honor him. He is vice chairman of the board of trustees of the Heritage Foundation and has turned down many suggestions that various buildings, schools and professorships be named for him. "The man is a hero," said a young activist in one of the organizations he supports.
Despite his demons and his difficulties, Scaife and the Mellon fortune he inherited have prevailed. The money didn't buy a happy childhood or the personal confidence he has always lacked, but for all the distractions of his complicated life, he has, at 66, established an imposing legacy. With the help of a few longtime aides and of the conservatives who got his money people who made him feel useful and appreciated Richard Mellon Scaife became the leading financial supporter of the movement that reshaped American politics in the last quarter of the 20th century.
How did Scaife do this? Why did he do it? And how does he feel about his accomplishment? Those are questions Scaife has never shown any desire to answer. He has never spoken revealingly about himself at any length, and he has rarely given interviews. Though he provided a brief written statement in response to questions from The Washington Post, he refused, over many months, to grant an interview.
So the available evidence will have to do. That evidence begins
with his money. Thanks to genealogical good luck, Scaife has a personal fortune of many
hundreds of millions. He lives a life thickly insulated from the workaday tribulations of
ordinary citizens, with houses in Pittsburgh, the resort of Ligonier, Pa., Nantucket and
Pebble Beach. A private DC-9 flies him from one to the other.
The Mellon family money he inherited, both in spendable cash and in trusts and foundations designated for philanthropy, shaped every aspect of his existence. Yet many around him can tell stories about how his anxieties over money disrupted his relations with other people.
One is William J. Gill, who worked for Scaife's charitable foundations 30 years ago. Gill took a trip to Vietnam on foundation business and when he returned submitted an expense account that included charges for laundering his shirts during the trip. Scaife refused to pay for the laundering and wrote a memo that Gill could never throw out:
"I have gone over the expense report that you submitted and I
would ask that you remove the laundry and the valet charge. I have noted on previous
expense reports as well as this one that a taxi costs $8.00 one way between your house and
the [Pittsburgh] airport. I would suggest that in the future you either drive yourself or
have your wife deposit you at the airport."
Said James Shuman, who worked for Scaife nearly 20 years ago: "He just assumed that everyone is out to steal every little thing he has."
From His Mother, a Legacy of Riches and Alcoholism
The potential significance of inherited wealth was foreseen,
ironically, by Thomas Mellon, founder of the family fortune. In 1885, reflecting on his
success, he observed: "The normal condition of man is hard work, self-denial,
acquisition and accumulation; as soon as his descendants are freed from the necessity of
such exertion they begin to degenerate sooner or later in both body and mind."
This was a pessimistic forecast for what might happen to Mellon's heirs, but many of them lived up to it. Like other American families overwhelmed by great riches, the Mellon line has produced numerous unhappy souls. One of them was Thomas Mellon's granddaughter Sarah, who would pass a fortune on to the son everyone called Dickie.
Sarah Mellon Scaife was "just a gutter drunk," in the
words of her daughter, Cordelia. "So was Dick," Cordelia Scaife May added of her
brother in an interview. "So was I."
If money was most important in shaping Richard Scaife's life, alcohol may come second. In a household dominated by his mother's drinking, Scaife's childhood was pampered but sad, according to his sister. "I don't remember any laughter in that house," she said. The children were raised by nannies and nurses.
Friends describe Scaife as a hard drinker beginning when he was a high school student at Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts. Yale expelled Scaife in March of his freshman year after a drunken evening in which Scaife rolled a keg of beer down a flight of stairs, breaking the legs of a classmate, according to Burton Hersh, biographer of the Mellon family.
As an adult, close friends said, he almost drank himself to death
more than once. These people credited both his wives and his longtime aide R. Daniel
McMichael for saving him. His second wife, Margaret "Ritchie" Battle Scaife
with help from the Betty Ford Clinic finally got him on the wagon in the
Some of his associates speculated that drinking contributed to a mean streak they saw in Scaife. Others weren't sure the drinking was a factor. From the time he was a teenager, Scaife earned the reputation of a bully. His sister recalled one occasion when, home in Ligonier on a vacation from Deerfield, he got caught by the police making prank phone calls. "The police gave him a polite talking-to, but Dick was totally unconcerned," Cordelia May said. "The police didn't frighten him at all."
Another friend remembered the young Scaife using the telephone to order anything he could find that could be delivered to the home of a merchant in Ligonier who had infuriated him. The merchant received numerous deliveries, from pizza to a load of gravel.
Most of the people who agreed to talk about Scaife for these
articles insisted on anonymity. Just the mention of Scaife's name seems to put people on
"There's a bit of fear out there because his reach is extensive," observed Allen G. Kukovich, a Democratic state senator from Westmoreland County, Pa., who has been the target of hostile editorials in Scaife's newspaper.
Scaife is known to many acquaintances as a man who bears grudges. He has cut off old friends who angered him and never acknowledged them again. He has tried to blackball people he fired with other possible employers. "People are really afraid of him," said the director of a charity in Pittsburgh.
Shuman said he saw in Scaife's history "a sort of steady thread of hurting people who don't like him or who he gets at cross [purposes] with." "When he gets a hate on for somebody, he tends to pursue it to substantial length," said a prominent Pittsburgh lawyer whose firm has had extensive dealings with Scaife.
Scaife has often behaved like a man who expects the world to bend to his wishes. Hersh, author of "The Mellon Family," recounted an example. Nearly 25 years ago Hersh had an extensive interview with Scaife, who told him more than he has told anyone else about his early life, his disputes with members of the Mellon family and his political and business activities. Hersh was at home in New Hampshire writing the book when he received a telephone call from Scaife, who evidently had decided that he told the author too much. Hersh recently recalled:
"He tried to bully me into not using parts of our interview, and he warned me ominously that I could regret it if I didn't do as he asked.
"'No, I won't,' I replied.
"'Why not?' Scaife asked.
"'Because I'm tape recording this conversation,' I said. I never heard from him again."
Hersh concluded that Scaife was "basically just a great big spoiled child."
Several years ago Scaife got angry with the Mellon Bank, which owned the building in Pittsburgh where he had his office, for letting conditions in the building deteriorate. He complained, according to a member of the board of the Sarah Scaife Foundation, but the bank was not responsive. So he announced that he was moving and got a new office (on the same 39th floor he had been on for years) in a nearby tower. He also took all his and his foundations' money out of the Mellon Bank.
Mellon Family History Left Scaife With Mixed Feelings
Several of Scaife's associates said his complex feelings about the Mellons
are a key to the man. Those feelings are the product of two generations of family history.
By all accounts the Mellons were delighted in the mid-1920s when their rather plain and shy Sarah caught the eye of the dashing Alan Scaife, a handsome Yale graduate and fine horseman. Alan Scaife's grandfather, Jeffrey Scaife, had landed in Pittsburgh at the dawn of the 19th century and established a metal fabricating firm that was never fabulously successful but did well enough to establish the family firmly in Pittsburgh's upper crust, where they arrived before the Mellons. Sarah and Alan married in 1927, feted by 1,000 guests in a pavilion built for the occasion. Man-made moons beamed down from four directions.
Alan's dash was not accompanied by business acumen. The Scaife Co. struggled under his command. When war broke out, Alan Scaife joined the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) as an Army major. Richard Helms, Scaife's OSS colleague then and later director of central intelligence, remembers Scaife's flattering, tailor-made major's uniforms. "If you said anything about him, you'd say he was a lightweight," Helms recalled. After the war he returned to Pittsburgh.
William Block, who was editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette in the postwar years, remembers several letters from Alan Scaife complaining about Block's decision to make the paper's editorial line more moderate in the late 1940s. "Alan Scaife was terribly worried about inherited wealth, apparently feeling that you have to be Republican to stay rich," Block said recently.
Sarah's brother R.K. Mellon, whose successful investments vastly enlarged the family fortune in the post-World War II years, had little confidence in his brother-in-law, and gave Alan Scaife no meaningful authority in Mellon family businesses. "My father was sucking hind tit," Richard Mellon Scaife told Hersh in the mid-1970s.
After his father died suddenly in 1958, Scaife, who had graduated from college the year before (from the University of Pittsburgh, whose board chairman was Alan Scaife), took his place on various family boards and committees, but rarely had anything substantive to do. He knew where he stood with his uncle R.K., and resented it.
He would put together a life of his own. It would not involve the
Scaife Co., which was failing. After his father died Scaife sold it "for a
dollar," he told Hersh.
In 1974, Scaife had an opportunity to express his feelings about the Mellons. In honor of his mother, he had decided to donate a new wing to the Carnegie, Pittsburgh's leading museum, and to fill it with her art collection. In life she had always been Sarah Mellon Scaife, so Pittsburgh society was taken aback when the new wing was opened. At her son's insistence, it was called simply the Sarah Scaife wing. Later, he removed the Mellon from the name of the Sarah Mellon Scaife Foundation.
Persuaded to Support Ideas Over Individuals
Scaife first became interested in politics as a boy. In the 1950s, his sister Cordelia's boyfriend, Robert Duggan, introduced Scaife to conservative Republican politics, and helped him become a Republican committeeman in Allegheny County in 1956.
He became an enthusiastic supporter of Arizona Sen. Barry M. Goldwater in 1964. His mother was a Goldwater fan, too, and lent the Goldwaters her airplane. Scaife reportedly contributed substantially to the Goldwater presidential effort and met the candidate more than once. His experience with the campaign influenced his philanthropy for years to come.
In 1969, when he was 37 years old, Scaife finally got a role entirely his own. After hearing from a friend that the owners of the Tribune-Review of Greensburg, Pa., wanted to sell the paper, he bought it for about $5 million. Greensburg is the county seat of Westmoreland County, where Ligonier is located, just east of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County. Scaife became the paper's publisher.
Scaife had one last serious fling with electoral politics in 1972, when he gave 330 $3,000 checks $990,000 to 330 different dummy organizations, all of them fronting for the Nixon campaign. The Washington Post disclosed these contributions a fortnight before the election, and Scaife readily acknowledged them. He wrote so many checks to avoid the federal gift tax then in force.
The Nixon White House courted Scaife, but he was appalled by the spectacle of Watergate, and his paper advocated Nixon's impeachment in March 1974. "My country comes first, my party comes second," Scaife explained.
His experience with Nixon, according to several associates, persuaded him to invest his hopes and his money in conservative institutions and ideas, not politicians. Though he has continued to give thousands to political campaigns and political action committees, his interest in electoral politics receded.
For Scaife personally, 1974 was probably more important for the death of his mentor, Duggan, and its consequences for his family. Since 1963, Duggan had been the elected district attorney of Allegheny County, where Pittsburgh is located. Scaife had supported him enthusiastically, served as his campaign treasurer and told friends he wanted to help Duggan become governor of Pennsylvania.
In Duggan's third term as D.A., the Internal Revenue Service and Richard Thornburgh, then the U.S. attorney for Western Pennsylvania (and later governor and U.S. attorney general), opened investigations into Duggan's sources of income and relations with criminal elements.
At first Scaife stood by his friend, even lobbying the Nixon administration to call Thornburgh off. But friends of Scaife's, apparently prodded by Thornburgh's investigators, brought him evidence of Duggan's wrongdoing that convinced him that Duggan was corrupt.
But Cordelia Scaife concluded that the world was unfairly out to get her old friend, and to the amazement of Pittsburgh's social and political worlds she decided to marry him secretly in Nevada. Scaife was livid when he heard about the wedding. Weeks after the marriage was announced, Thornburgh tightened the noose around Duggan. With help from a local gangster who finally agreed to testify that he had made payoffs to the D.A., Thornburgh brought a six-count indictment charging Duggan with tax fraud.
On the day the indictment was returned March 5, 1974 Duggan was found dead on his farm in Ligonier. His body had a shotgun wound in the chest; a shotgun was found a few feet away. A police investigation concluded that he died by accident or suicide, but many suspicious people doubted this explanation. One was Cordelia, who decided, according to numerous sources, that somehow, her brother was involved. She broke off relations with her brother and has not spoken to him since.
Today, Cordelia Scaife May says she accepts the verdict that Duggan did away with himself. "I don't want that one raked up again," she said in a recent interview.
Silence on Philanthropic Philosophy, Intellectual Beliefs
Most of the $340 million Scaife's trusts and foundations have given to
conservative causes has funded some form of intellectual activity. "Our funding is
based on our support of ideas like limited government, individual rights and a strong
defense," he said in a written response to questions from The Washington Post. But no
one has ever accused Scaife of being an intellectual.
Asked about his interest in books, more than a dozen of the conservative intellectuals Scaife has supported could cite none they remembered him discussing. What they remember is his appetite for newspapers, particularly for the gossip columns. The one academic subject friends cited that he seems to know well is geography. His greatest known enthusiasm is for flowers. His penchant for conspiratorial explanations of public events is mentioned often.
Scaife has apparently never given a speech or written an article outlining his personal philosophy, the principles guiding his philanthropy or his ideas. Occasionally, he has dropped tantalizing, if also confusing, clues, as he did at a rally sponsored by the Heritage Foundation after the Republicans gained control of the House and Senate in November 1994.
Invited to speak, Scaife said: "With political victory, the ideological conflicts that have swirled about this nation for half a century now show clear signs of breaking into naked ideological warfare in which the very foundations of our republic are threatened and that we had better take heed."
In his statement to The Post, Scaife said, "My concerns are for the freedom of individuals."
Scaife has regularly attended board meetings at the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace and at the Heritage Foundation (where he is vice chairman), but speaks little, and almost never about substantive issues, according to people who attended board meetings.
The only public role Scaife has ever held was as a member of the Advisory Commission on Public Diplomacy, the citizens' advisory panel for the U.S. Information Agency, from 1984 to 1990. (Edwin J. Feulner Jr. of the Heritage Foundation was then the chairman of that panel.) In that capacity he traveled around the world visiting USIA posts. Other prominent citizens who served with him remember Scaife as someone who had little to say, and little to contribute when he did speak.
Had he not inherited a lot of money, said former aide Shuman, "I don't think he had the intellectual capacity to do very much."
While many people who know Scaife give him credit for setting and sticking to his conservative priorities, others attribute the success of his giving largely to the influence of his two longest-serving aides, McMichael and Richard M. Larry. Both developed relationships with the conservative activists who guided Scaife's philanthropy, and brought system and order to the process of giving the money away along with their own strong beliefs.
McMichael has a conspiratorial bent as well. According to one recipient who worked with him, he sometimes avoided phone calls in favor of secretive meetings in airports. He wrote a novel (subsidized by Scaife) imagining a future United States taken over by the Soviet Union after being duped by a successor to the United Nations. He specializes in grants for foreign policy and security issues. Larry, a former Marine who handles grants involving domestic policy, was largely responsible for Scaife's involvement in the "Arkansas Project" that attempted to find dirt on the Clintons.
Perhaps most important, Scaife's philanthropy fed on itself, thanks in large measure to a handful of recipients who cultivated the donor. When Scaife volunteered generous gifts to the Hoover Institution in the 1960s, its director at the time, W. Glenn Campbell, put Scaife on Hoover's board. There he was exposed to many conservative intellectuals who were grateful for the millions he was giving to their enterprise.
Similarly, David Abshire at the Center for Strategic and International Studies and William Baroody Sr. at the American Enterprise Institute exposed Scaife to a world of intellectuals and political activism that he would not have seen without his ties to their organizations. Later Feulner cultivated Scaife assiduously, put him on the Heritage Board in 1985, then accepted a position on the board of the Sarah Scaife Foundation. Scaife has been vice chairman of Heritage's board since 1992.
Paul Weyrich, president of the Free Congress Foundation and a founder of Heritage, organized a dinner at the Old Angler's Inn near Great Falls in Potomac in the early 1990s to honor Scaife for his contributions to victory in the Cold War.
Most of the major recipients declined requests for on-the-record interviews about Scaife. Campbell, now director emeritus at Hoover, did give an interview. "Unlike a lot of people who inherited" money, he said, Scaife "spent it wisely."
The people who run the big organizations Scaife has supported, not surprisingly, are quick to forgive Scaife's idiosyncrasies. Asked about Scaife's predilection for conspiracy theories, for example, the head of one big recipient organization shrugged: "I don't know why he goes off on these toots."
Some of these recipients are nervous now about Scaife's future commitment to their causes because they sense his interests are changing. Several attributed this to his wife, Margaret "Ritchie" Battle Scaife, who was quite openly Scaife's companion for many years before they were married in 1991. She still lives in the house she first occupied as Scaife's companion, just around the corner from Scaife's house in the Shadyside neighborhood of Pittsburgh.
Ritchie Scaife has philanthropic interests of her own, according to sources connected to the Scaife foundations. She has encouraged recent gifts of at least $570,000 to the education programs of the Archdiocese of Pittsburgh, to the National Gallery of Art in Washington ($2.25 million for a painting acquired in honor of Paul Mellon, Scaife's cousin) and to Mount Vernon for a new audio-visual program for visitors there. She is active now in a new Pittsburgh parks conservancy that received approval last year for $500,000 in grant money from Scaife's Allegheny Foundation.
Scaife is described by old friends as enjoying perhaps the best time of his life, and many attribute this to his wife. Her biggest accomplishment may have been to help Scaife break the spell of alcohol. Since he stopped drinking in the early '90s "the change in his personality is just unbelievable," said H. Yale Gutnick, Scaife's lawyer. At the same time, and to his great frustration, Scaife has been losing his hearing, and now often relies on a crude but effective amplifying device to talk to others a microphone that brings his interlocutor's words into earphones.
Ritchie Scaife travels in the private DC-9, takes part in the social and cultural life of Pittsburgh's upper crust and seems to enjoy hobnobbing with celebrities. She told friends after her husband was interviewed last fall by John F. Kennedy Jr. that Kennedy was "a friend of ours." (Several months after the interview appeared in George magazine, her son Westray Battle was listed as an intern on the masthead of George. Kennedy invited Scaife to be his guest at Saturday's White House Correspondents Dinner.)
Last June, Ritchie Scaife gave a lavish party to celebrate their seventh wedding anniversary. The party was held in elaborate tents that were pitched on the site of Penguin Court, the eccentric Cottswolds-style mansion Scaife's mother and father built in Ligonier next to the Rolling Rock Club. When Scaife inherited the old mansion he had it torn down, stone by stone.
The giant party tents were arrayed around a reflecting pool and furnished to look like a grand country house chandeliers, art work, fine furniture, according to one of the 250 guests. Every guest got an umbrella with a penguin handle, and a dancing penguin was placed on the dashboards of the guests' cars.
Scaife's admirers insist that he's misunderstood. "He's got this incredible modesty that people don't even know about," said George "Frolic" Weymouth, the chairman of the Brandywine Conservancy in Chadds Ford, Pa., where Andrew Wyeth paintings and the landscape he painted are both preserved. Scaife has given more than $6 million to the conservancy since 1979.
Weymouth, a painter and restorer of horse-drawn carriages whose mother was a du Pont, described Scaife as someone "passionate about flowers" who has a refined taste in gardens and paintings. "He's a wonderful person, very good sense of humor," Weymouth added.
Gutnick, Scaife's lawyer, recounted proudly how Scaife had offered a $50,000 contribution to Pittsburgh's United Jewish Federation to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Israeli independence.
"He's a very attractive, very pleasant, very amusing person," said William Boyd, a lifelong friend.
So Scaife is as kind to friends as he can be harsh to perceived enemies. James Whelan, the founding editor of the Washington Times who worked for Scaife when he owned the Sacramento Union, said this was characteristic. Scaife's world, Whelan said, is starkly divided between allies and adversaries. "If you're not my friend, you're my enemy he lives by that kind of code."
Scaife remains feisty and unpredictable. He told Kennedy last fall that he was glad to see Newt Gingrich leave the House speakership "we need leadership, and Newt wasn't providing it." He said that although he was "a Republican by birth in the last several years, particularly after Newt's election, I have become more and more Libertarian I don't see the Republicans going anywhere."
Maintaining Privacy Under Newfound Notoriety
Throughout his adult life Scaife has worried about his personal security.
Shuman, his former aide, recalled Pittsburgh police cars stationed outside his house 20
years ago. This year those fears were realized in a bizarre episode that grew out of
Scaife's new notoriety as a bogeyman of the left.
Scaife is the topic of much discussion on the Internet. One of his critics in cyberspace, Steve Kangas, maintained his own Web site where he wrote diatribes against the the "overclass," a combination of the wealthy and the CIA. He considered Scaife an influential member.
On Feb. 8, Kangas was found dead in a men's room on the 39th floor of the Oxford Center office building, where Scaife's Pittsburgh offices are now located. Police ruled it a suicide. Kangas had come from Las Vegas with a gun; Scaife concluded that he was Kangas's target, according to knowledgeable sources.
Kangas's death was not publicized for weeks after the event, but the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette finally got wind of it and wrote several stories. So did Scaife's Tribune-Review. Scaife apparently didn't like the Post-Gazette's coverage, which raised questions about why Scaife had hired a private detective to investigate Kangas (the same Rex Armistead who worked on the Arkansas Project) instead of relying on Pittsburgh police.
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