Remember him? The cantankerous, reclusive 75-year-old billionaire who's spent asnip
sizable chunk of his inherited fortune bankrolling conservative causes and
trying to kneecap Democrats? He's best known for funding efforts to smear
then-President Bill Clinton, but more quietly he's given in excess of $300
million to right-leaning activists, watchdogs and think tanks. Atop his list of
favorite donees: the family-values-focused Heritage Foundation, which has published papers with titles such
as "Restoring a Culture of Marriage."
The culture of his own marriage is
apparently past restoring. With the legal fight still in the weigh-in phase, the
story of Scaife v. Scaife already includes a dog-snatching, an assault, a night
in jail and that divorce court perennial, allegations of adultery.
Now we know that Scaife is beneficiary of nine different trusts, includingsnip
one called the "1935 Trust," with an approximate value of $210 million, and
another called "The Revocable Trust," valued at $655 million. Altogether, these
gushers are worth about $1.4 billion.
We learned, too, that the Tribune-Review has been a gurgling sinkhole from
Day One; Scaife's lawyers say their client has pumped as much as $312 million
into it over the years. And he's going to have to keep on pumping. The
Tribune-Review's CEO has predicted an annual shortfall of $20 million for years