Friday, July 04, 2014

good, phukkem, and I hope he burns in hell...,

NYTimes |  Decades before David and Charles Koch bankrolled right-wing causes, Mr. Scaife and Joseph Coors, the beer magnate, were the leading financiers of the conservative crusade of the 1970s and ’80s, seeking to reverse the liberal traditions of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal and Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society.

Mr. Scaife (pronounced Skayf) inherited roughly $500 million in 1965, and with more family bequests and income from trust funds and investments in oil, steel and real estate, nearly tripled his net worth over his lifetime. But unlike his forebears, who were primarily benefactors of museums, public art collections, education and medicine, he gave hundreds of millions to promote conservative political causes.

He never ran for public office or gave speeches to promote his political views. Indeed, he was notoriously withdrawn, rarely giving interviews or addressing controversies that regularly engulfed him. He had a longstanding drinking problem, engaged in bitter feuds with relatives, friends and employees, and found his troubled life examined in the press and online, despite phalanxes of lawyers, spokesmen and retainers paid to insulate him from endless public fascination with his wealth and power.

But in written answers to questions by The Washington Post in 1999, he said concerns for America motivated him. “I am not a politician, although like most Americans I have some political views,” he said. “Basically I am a private individual who has concerns about his country and who has resources that give me the privilege — and responsibility — to do something to help my country if I can.”

He had the caricatured look of a jovial billionaire touting “family values” in America: a real-life Citizen Kane with red cheeks, white hair, blue eyes and a wide smile for the cameras. Friends called him intuitive but not intellectual. He told Vanity Fair his favorite TV show was “The Simpsons,” and his favorite book was John O’Hara’s “Appointment in Samarra,” about a rich young Pennsylvanian bent on self-destruction.

In his first foray into national politics, in 1964, Mr. Scaife backed Senator Barry M. Goldwater, the Arizona Republican, who lost his presidential bid in a landslide. In 1972, Mr. Scaife gave $1 million to the re-election war chest of President Richard M. Nixon, including $45,000 to a secret fund linked to the Watergate scandal. And in the 1980s, Mr. Scaife ardently supported Ronald Reagan’s presidency.