Ghost of the Past? Hardly: Scaife's Philanthropic Empire Is Thriving - 2014-06-09
Richard Mellon Scaife made his name first as a bankroller of Richard Nixon's 1972 campaign and later as a muckraking adversary of Bill Clinton. As he ages, he plays a less active role in the foundations he launched, but that hasn't diminished their roles as some of the most prominent funders of conservative causes. Indeed, with their endowments growing, these foundations are giving out as much money as ever, if not more.
Scaife's stable of foundations draw on the wealth he inherited from his mother's family, the Mellons, a prominent clan in Pittsburgh's political and financial worlds. He serves as chairman of three separate foundations, and while each one is billed as having its own unique focus, they all provide significant sources of support to conservative intellectuals and advocates.
The largest sum of money is dedicated to the organization bearing the name of Scaife's mother, Sarah. The Sarah Scaife Foundation doled out $13.4 million in 2012 to a wide range of universities, think tanks, and advocacy organizations. It's hard to think of a conservative policy group that didn't get something from this funder. Among the largest beneficiaries were the conservative Heritage Foundation and the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis.