Democracy Has Prevailed.

July 12, 2014

A Scaife Follow-up. (Where's His Money Going?)

There's a pair of local articles (one in the P-G and the other in the Trib) describing where Richard Mellon Scaife's stuff is going to go, now that he's passed on.

The P-G has more info than the Trib but perhaps that's because the Trib's Mike Wereschagin is writing more about Scaife's art collection than about his estate.

We start with the Trib:
The wealth, land and art collections of Richard Mellon Scaife, the late owner of the Tribune-Review, will be distributed among two foundations, a trust, an art museum and a conservancy, according to his will.
And then:
The Westmoreland Museum of American Art in Greensburg and Brandywine Conservancy near Philadelphia will split Scaife's art collection, according to the will. The will allows the organizations to decide how to divide the collection and sets up a rotating selection system to resolve disagreements.
That's certainly good news for those two art museums.

But let's try to follow the money.  Where is the money going?  This is where Wereschagin stumbles:
The Sarah Scaife Foundation and Allegheny Foundation will divide the assets Scaife inherited from his parents, according to the will. The value of the assets was not available. The Sarah Scaife Foundation, which gives to organizations that study public policy issues, donated $13.5 million in 2012, according to the foundation's most recent annual report available. The Washington-based American Enterprise Institute and Cambridge, Mass.-based Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis received the most money, at $600,000 and $760,000, respectively.

The Allegheny Foundation, whose giving supports historic preservation, civic development and education in Western Pennsylvania, donated $2.6 million in 2012, according to its most recent annual report. The largest gifts — $210,000 and $200,000 — went to the Westmoreland Museum of American Art and Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank, respectively.
Ah, Mike. The two foundations are so much more than the borderline innocent with civic pride description you give us.  But let's take a look at the 2012 gifts.

You'll note that among the top 15 recipients there are a number of important conservative/free market institutions:
  • The Hoover Institution ($409,000)
  • The Claremont Institute ($400,000)
  • The Heritage Foundation ($400,000)
  • The Social Philosophy and Policy Foundation ($375,000)
  • The Competitive Enterprise Institute ($300,000)
  • The Hudson Institute ($250,000)
Include the money sent to AEI and Foreign Policy Analysis, and that gets you (by my count) about $3.5 million.  So if the total donated in 2012 was about $13.5 million and at least $3.5 million went to conservative think tanks (remember, I only looked at the top 15 recipients - out of 78), then that's a tad more than a quarter of the funds right there.

Given such a large chunk went to conservative think tanks, why not just say so?  Why omit that part?
It gets worse when you look at the Allegheny Foundation, which Wereschagin describes as "whose giving supports historic preservation, civic development and education in Western Pennsylvania".

Let's see who else the Allegheny Foundation gave money to in 2012.  On the list we find these profoundly non Pennsylvania historic preservation and civic development organizations:
  • America's Survival ($150,000)
  • David Horowitz Freedom Center ($150,000)
  • Young America's Foundation ($150,000)
  • Allegheny Institute for Public Policy ($125,000)
  • The Institute of World Politics ($100,000)
  • American Legislative Exchange Council ($50,000)
Why not mention any of that?  I mean the president of America's Survival is a man named Cliff Kincaid and on May 1 of this year, RightWing watch quoted Kincaid as saying: cannot be a conservative in the traditional sense and be a homosexual, you cannot be a conservative in the traditional sense and promote homosexual marriage and all these other libertine and left-wing causes...
Then there's the David Horowitz Freedom Center.  In late June RightWingWatch reported:
Yesterday on NewsMax TV, David Horowitz said that President Obama is intentionally destroying America and Israel, but no one dares to criticize him “because he’s black.”

“Obama is the Manchurian candidate, he represents America’s enemies and he has just cut us off at the knees,” he said. “He’s a traitor, you have to look at Obama as a traitor, he supports the enemy.”
And did you see the last bullet point on that list?  ALEC.

So perhaps we have a reason why that stuff went unmentioned.

But do not tell us that The Allegheny Foundation is best (or even accurately) described with this phrase, "whose giving supports historic preservation, civic development and education in Western Pennsylvania."

Just don't do it.  It insults our intelligence.

O'Toole and Silver do a better job over at the P-G:
The will steers Scaife’‍s art, his late mother’s real estate, and stock trusts that she left behind to various charities. It indicates the existence of two trust funds, one of which appears to be tied to the Tribune-Review newspapers.
And then:
The will also mentions, but does not detail, an irrevocable trust created in 2004 which includes among its five trustees at least three people involved with the Tribune-Review: Mr. Gutnick, former Tribune-Review president Edward H. Harrell and Trib Total Media CEO Ralph J. Martin.
Something else left out of the Trib's coverage.  Go figure.

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