Dick Scaife, Crypto-Liberal

An unlikely Kerry donor.

How did a $2,000 check from the Scaife family end up in John Kerry’s campaign account? Is Richard Mellon Scaife, notorious sugar daddy to the nut-fringe right, secretly a double agent for the left? Is Kerry’s presidential campaign a diabolical plot by the hard right to divert early Democratic cash into a losing campaign? Is any of this connected to the deaths of Ron Brown and Vince Foster?

Actually, no. The donation comes from Scaife’s wife of 12 years, Margaret “Ritchie” Battle Scaife. Ritchie Scaife has worked and socialized with Kerry’s wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, on Pittsburgh’s charity ball circuit—they co-chaired a capital campaign for the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and just this year worked together on the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy’s Spring Hat Luncheon. So, chalk this one up to the conspiracy of social class.

Ritchie Scaife also gave $1,000 to the Wish List, an organization that funds pro-choice Republican women who run for Congress. But this should be less of a shock. In a January 1999 interview with John Kennedy Jr. in George magazine, Richard Scaife revealed that he himself is pro-choice.