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John McCain Releases Tax Returns

Corrected 12:20 p.m.
By Matthew Mosk
Sen. John McCain this morning released tax returns showing that, while he is among the wealthiest members of the United States Senate, the vast majority of his wealth comes from his wife.

McCain took in $420,000 in income last year, and $320,000 in 2006 -- far less than the earnings posted by his Democratic rivals,
Sens. Hillary Clinton
and Barack Obama, in those years. The comparison is not a direct one, though, as McCain and his wife, Cindy, file separate returns. The campaign opted to release only the senator's returns, which show his income from his Senate salary, his various book deals, his military pension and Social Security.

Campaign officials said the decision not to release Cindy McCain's returns was based, in part, on the precedent set by the 2004 Democratic nominee, Sen. John Kerry, whom they said did not share details of his wife's fortune.

"Since the beginning of their marriage, Senator McCain and Mrs. McCain have always maintained separate finances," the campaign said in a statement accompanying copies of the returns. "As required by federal law and Senate rules, Mrs. McCain has released significant and extensive financial information through Senate and Presidential disclosure forms. In the interest of protecting the privacy of her children, Mrs. McCain will not be releasing her personal tax returns."

The tax returns show that McCain paid $157,231 in federal taxes for 2006 and 2007. The campaign said the couple contributed $340,323 to charitable causes during that period. The charitable donations included all the royalties from his books. The campaign said that amounted to over $1,800,000 since 1998, when he signed his first book deal. During the past two years, McCain earned $256,898 from sales of his books: Faith of My Fathers, Worth the Fighting For, Why Courage Matters, Character is Destiny and Hard Call.

Beginning in 1991, the campaign said, McCain has "also donated the increase in his Senate salary for that year and each subsequent year to charity because he opposed the Congressional pay increase at that time and pledged not to accept the pay raises." That has amounted to over $450,000 in donations.

The returns don't tell the whole story, though. McCain's lifestyle is largely financed by his wife's wealth; she has been estimated to have holdings worth roughly $100 million. Most of her money stems from a family fortune. Her father, James Hensley, founded Hensley & Co. in 1955, an Arizona company that grew to become one of the largest beer distributors in the country.

This item originally said Cindy McCain's holdings were estimated at $15 million.

By Web Politics Editor  |  April 18, 2008; 12:01 PM ET
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McCains tax returns get really interesting when you examine where his charitable contributions are going.
Guess what its "The McCain Foundation"
And guess where donations for the McCain Foundation go.

Xavier College Preparatory School
Brophy College Prep
Christ Lutheran School

And guess what all of these private schools have in common?
Why they are all private schools that McCains children attend or have attended.
If you look at the McCain Foundation tax return for the last 7 years over $500,000 in "charitable" contributions have gone to private schools that McCain's children attend. In other words the Senator is taking tax deductions for donating to elite private schools. Perfectly legal but....

Posted by: Mike | April 28, 2008 12:21 AM | Report abuse

gee- not too obvious there grandpa mcshame- sad part is this country was dumb enough to elect the crawford coward not once but twice- so i'm sure majority of americans will not catch on to why mcshame's not releasing his wife's tax returns.

Posted by: bob g | April 18, 2008 10:16 PM | Report abuse

That's right, the media loves McCain. He gets a free ride (look how quickly the story about the affair with the lobbyist got killed ) All the Sunday Morning talk shows ran with the Clintons Tax return , dissecting it over and over and let's see what happens with McCain.

Posted by: Debster | April 18, 2008 9:23 PM | Report abuse

This is about John McCain yet a majority of the post is about Kerry. Nothing sticks to Teflon John.

Posted by: Wow | April 18, 2008 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Take a look at Chaney's and G H Bush's growth over the last 7 years. Although Chaney claims to have his holding in trust, He totally controls the profits by granting Hugh contracts to his old employer whom he still receives $168,000 per year as a consultant. Conflict of interest? You bet.
G H Bush has large oil investments. What do you think his investments are worth today now that GW has opened the door to the oil industry to steal American taxpayers blood?

Posted by: W R Smith | April 18, 2008 7:20 PM | Report abuse

"They weren't in news stories and they made sure they got buried."

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 6:48 PM | Report abuse

"Were you on a deserted island for John McCain mixing up Sunnis and Shiites, his public financing fiasco, declining Secret Service protection, or Cindy's Recipegate?"

No- I read all of the excuses the WaPo-McCain Campaign promoters made for McCain. They weren't in news stories and they made sure they got buried. They lasted no time, and WaPo turned them into advertisements for McCain.
McCain is getting a free ride because the corporate media is in financial trouble and they need the wealth favoring tax breaks to shore up their losses. Big Media doesn't care if America goes bankrupt as long as it is the working man who has to pay the debts. The worst part of this is that America is being deceived (again) by our media when our democracy relies on a free and honest press to keep corruption in check. Silly of us to expect that the media would be any less corrupt than the politicians they are in bed with. The lobbyists McCain is letting finance and run his campaign were lobbying against FCC regulations. The news media is a major lobby supporter to have anti-monopoly restrictions lifted. They want to control everything we read, hear and watch on TV.
McCain wants to help them. The boardroom is setting news policy and the policy is get McCain elected regardless of what the American people want or deserve.

Posted by: Kevin Morgan | April 18, 2008 6:42 PM | Report abuse

Using THAT precedent, then, Cindy can release two pages of her 2006 tax return in OCTOBER, and then (if he loses in November), she will release the rest in 2012?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 6:38 PM | Report abuse

Can anyone motivate Teresa Heinz Kerry to release her tax returns?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 6:34 PM | Report abuse

P.S. to Jacob:

John SIDNEY McCain $420,000 last year

Barack Obama $4.2 million last year

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 6:27 PM | Report abuse

"0-ZERO negative coverage of anything about McCain"

Were you on a deserted island for John McCain mixing up Sunnis and Shiites, his public financing fiasco, declining Secret Service protection, or Cindy's Recipegate?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 6:24 PM | Report abuse

The difference is that four years ago, Kerry wasn't calling Bush an "elitist." McCain's campaign jumps on Obama for being out of touch with the needs of regular Americans, and claims that he understands their needs.

Not that this SHOULD matter, but McCain opened this door, and should account for the degree to which he is a "man of the people" as he claims.

Posted by: Jacob | April 18, 2008 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Lets see if I have this right. Both Clinton and Obama made full dislosures and when they did, it was a front page NEWS article. But McCain is in a column and he only discloses his own, deferring to a previous campaign comparison in which he took no part.
McCain makes a point of disclosing both he and his wife's "charitable contributions" but not her income.
This is another fine example of the slanted coverage Big Media (WaPo included) is giving to John McCain.
In case you haven't noticed for the last month there has been 0-ZERO negative coverage of anything about McCain and EVERY bit of coverage for both Obama and Clinton has been like something out of a cheap tabloid. 12 days straight of Rev Rights comments, but not even an honest look at the fact that McCain has lobbyists running his campaign while touting his opposition to lobbyist influence.


Because the corporate media wants to monopolize markets and the FCC stands between them and running all the independent media out of business. John McCain has consistently voted and used his position to influence the FCC to remove any barriers that protect us from one sided news.
Democracy is dead if in our elections the candidates are not given fair and equal coverage. Big Media is trying to sell us John McCain and destroy his Democratic rivals out of pure greed. If you don't believe me count the next 5 articles about the three remaining candidates and check which get positive or negative coverage. McCain gets a free ride, while the Democrats get slimed. The same media who lied for Bush is lying for McCain. It is up to us to recognize that we are being hoodwinked.

Posted by: Kevin Morgan | April 18, 2008 6:16 PM | Report abuse

Some Annapolis, MD trivia:

The Maryland State House is the oldest in continuous legislative use in the United States. Construction started in 1772, and the Maryland legislature first met there in 1779. It is topped by the largest wooden dome built without nails in the nation. The Maryland state house housed the workings of the government from November 26, 1783 to August 13, 1784, and the Treaty of Paris was ratified there on January 14, 1784, so Annapolis became the first peacetime capital of the US.

It was in the Maryland state house that George Washington famously resigned his commission before the Continental Congress on December 23, 1783. According to some, George Washington, who had argued vigorously for Annapolis to become the permanent home to the United States Capitol, had a strong attachment to the Maryland state house and instructed Pierre L'Enfant to model the dome of the Capitol building in Washington DC after it.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 5:27 PM | Report abuse


That was already posted, above, at 2:07 PM.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Considering that the President cannot actively control his personal Business Ventures as President, it seems a very obvious Loophole to allow his Partner to.
Just as Billary Shared the White House during their previous Two Terms, it needs to be addressed that the office is actually Shared by Married Partners, and hold Both as one when it comes to Financial Discrepancies, and Term Limits.

Case in Point, IF Hillary manages to win the Presidency(God Forbid), who in their right mind does NOT think Slick will be a De Facto President?

"Bill, Should I..."

Posted by: RAT-The | April 18, 2008 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Same old Karl Rove lies... some things don't change do they.

Theresa Heintz DID release her tax return for 2003:

Teresa Heinz Kerry on Friday released a portion of her 2003 federal tax return, reporting that she paid $627k in federal income taxes on $2.3 million of AGI, primarily from dividends and interest. She received $5.1 million of gross income, $2.8 million of it tax exempt interest income. Ms. Heinz Kerry, who filed separately from Senator Kerry, thus paid federal income tax at the rate of 12.3% of her gross income and 27.4% of her AGI. She refers to herself as "Teresa Heinz" on the tax return and lists her occupation as "philanthropist." For the Kerry campaign's accompanying press release,

Posted by: cybersophist | April 18, 2008 5:15 PM | Report abuse

Married to the Mob (1988)

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 5:12 PM | Report abuse

Almost 5 1/2 years -- October 26, 1967 to March 14, 1973 -- as a Prisoner of War.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 5:09 PM | Report abuse

there's no sleazier business that's more mobbed-up than beer distribution; keeping territories, fighting unions, getting shelf-space from grocery chains; routes, kickbacks, and making sure that a friendly state regulator or inspector always wins at the poker games.

this is the McCain who spent 5 years in a POW camp vowing to get his piece of the American Pie.

Too bad he had to marry a junkie to get it.

Posted by: married to the mob | April 18, 2008 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Did anyone ever see more than TWO pages of Mrs. John Kerry's 1040?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Pierre SD and Drink that cool-aid:

As noted above, she released PARTIAL information right before the election.

"... how little we forget."

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Teresa Heinz-Kerry did in fact release her tax returns (her 1040 anyways) after the rep machine made a big deal out of it, calling it a betrayal of the American people. I wonder if they will do the same this time? how about we check our facts before taking the McCain campaigns word for it. You can find the returns as well as extensive discussion of them with a simple web search

Posted by: Drink that cool-aid | April 18, 2008 4:29 PM | Report abuse

And, lest we forget, Theresa Heinz-Kerry DID release her income tax returns eventually, under constant Republican pressure... how little we forget.

Or maybe this is just another example of McCain being treated with kid gloves by the media... "Oh, look! He invited us to his ranch... he's so cool, how can we write anything bad about him?" Disgraceful!

Posted by: Pierre SD | April 18, 2008 4:25 PM | Report abuse


Maybe you should sign-up with OD and spread the wealth of information.

Posted by: DO | April 18, 2008 4:17 PM | Report abuse

There wouldn't be any Senator Kerry without the wealth of his FIRST wife. She was the one who bankrolled him before he dumped her.

Posted by: WashingtonDame | April 18, 2008 4:16 PM | Report abuse






Word has begun leaking from last nights special,
Closed-door session of the United States House of Representatives.
Not only did members discuss new surveillance provisions as was the publicly stated
Reason for the closed door session, they also discussed :

1. The Imminent Collapse of the U.S. economy to occur by September 2008
2. The imminent collapse of US federal government finances by February 2009
3. The possibility of Civil War inside the USA as a result of the collapse
4. Advance round-ups of "insurgent U.S. citizens" likely to move against the Government
5. The Detention of those rounded-up at "REX 84" camps constructed throughout the USA,
6. The possibility of retaliation against members of Congress for the collapses
7. The Location of "safe facilities" for members of Congress and their families
To reside during expected massive civil unrest
8. The necessary and unavoidable merger of the United States with Canada
(for its natural resources) and with Mexico (for its cheap labor pool)
9. The issuance of a new currency - THE AMERO -
For all three nations as the proposed solution to the coming economic armageddon.

Members of Congress Have Been FORBIDDEN to reveal what was discussed
Several are so furious and concerned about the future of the country,
they have begun leaking info.
US Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson
Has Already Received His PERSONAL BAIL-OUT

Under Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson's .. Former leadership at
Goldman Sachs, the company has been instrumental to its penetration of Western
capital and other markets. - - Henry Paulson was vastly effective in Communist
China's .. Interests and enabling their access to Western economic assistance
and high technology

In late January 2006, Goldman Sachs purchased a stake in the Industrial and
Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), China's biggest bank, for $2.58 billion
Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson''''s .. Personal stake .. In this transaction
was $25 million

A PERSONAL BAIL OUT for : Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and His
Criminal Friends

(Mar 27, 2008 ( BBC) ... White House Resists Pleas for .. Mortgage Bailout
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - As clamor rises for federal help for homeowners
who face losing their homes .. U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson .. Seems
to be digging in heels against the effort.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Paulson sounded a tougher note than ever against any
possibility of bailout for individual mortgage holders, singling out the growing number
going "under water" as their loans exceed the diminishing value of their properties.

please this is a simple thing to fix, why are you bending over for all of the wallstreet scum.
you have the right to do what this paulson/ben did for wallstreet,saying they had to to save america. so you can say the same thing, but this time you would be saveing america, and not wallstreet.
you must come out and stop the forcloseing of all these millions of homes, now,





Posted by: DAVID | April 18, 2008 4:14 PM | Report abuse


Thanks for the hack job with all your inside information. Now explain all of Obama's mafia types supporting him I am sure you have that information as well. After that please shed light on Clinton and Whitewater...need someone with your inside knowledge.

Posted by: DO | April 18, 2008 4:12 PM | Report abuse


Were you similarly upset about the Heinz-Kerry jet in 2004? Also, McCain's position was "Vice President of Public Relations" -- lots of sons-in-law are employed that way -- but, regardless, anyone with that title is simply a "glorified beer sales rep"?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

"Her father, James Hensley, founded Hensley & Co. in 1955, an Arizona company that grew to become one of the largest beer distributors in the country."

Jim Hensley came out of prison in 1954. He was given that company by the king of organized crime in Arizona, Kemper Marley.
Because Jim had taken the rap for him.

Cindy's family was heavily involved in organized crime - her uncle Eugene also did 5 years in fed pen.

Cindy and her kids are the only known shareholders in the company since Jim died about 10 years ago. People say she's worth $100 million, but the business is worth $250 million, and though they don't admit it, it seems the only owners are Cindy and her kids.

Jim Hensley ran a huge stable of state and federal lobbyists, and recruited war hero John McCain for his obvious political uses. Jim gave McCain a "job" as glorified beer sales rep so John could campaign around the state while Jim picked up the tab.

Jim was great pals with Charles Keating, who became a major business partner of Cindy.

John McCain later got in trouble for asking favors of regulators to help Charles Keating, in return for the use of Keating's jet on campaign. Keating went to prison for ripping billions off small investors.

More recently, McCain was caught asking favors from regulators on behalf of Arizona businessman Lowell Paxson, again in return for the use of his jet on campaign.

This year, though, McCain has turned over a new leaf, and is beyond all that. How do I know?

Because Cindy now has her own jet.

Posted by: OD | April 18, 2008 4:01 PM | Report abuse

1 Tim. 3:5 relates to CHURCH leaders (we aren't electing a Pastor-in-Chief).

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 3:06 PM | Report abuse

Where does the Bible say "how can a man be a ruler of a nation/kingdom when he doesn't rule his own house"?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 3:04 PM | Report abuse

And you want to vote for this man? He can't even keep his household in order and the bible says how can a man be a ruler of a nation/kingdom when he doesn't rule his own house. It sounds to me that Cindy knows something.

Legally, Cindy doesn't have to release anything because they file separate returns. And until she becomes first lady she doesn't have to release anything.

Posted by: What | April 18, 2008 2:53 PM | Report abuse


Did you say the same re: Kerry four years ago?

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 2:51 PM | Report abuse

By NOT releasing his wife's income tax returns, like Obama and Clinton, it makes it appear John McCain has something to HIDE!

Posted by: KYJurisDoctor | April 18, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Are you suggesting that Kerry lost because his wife (initially) refused to provide her tax return? I'm sure there were a thousand more significant reasons he lost that election.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 2:46 PM | Report abuse

...hmm, Kerry LOST, didn't he?

Posted by: GmcDuluth | April 18, 2008 2:41 PM | Report abuse

Where there is smoke, there may be fire. There may be things they just do not want us to know... If you run for these sort of things, you should imagine that you will have to cough it up. (imho)

Posted by: Dave | April 18, 2008 2:37 PM | Report abuse

All the canidates are rich, so what? Making a decent living is fairly easy. If you can't even do that then you have no business running the country.

Posted by: reason | April 18, 2008 2:20 PM | Report abuse

That's why I suspect they will eventually release her tax returns (on a Friday, right before the long Memorial Day weekend ; )

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 2:13 PM | Report abuse

Look what happened to Kerry...

Posted by: Dave | April 18, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

It wasn't until October, right before the election, that Teresa Heinz Kerry released a portion of her 2003 federal tax return, reporting that she paid $627k in federal income taxes on $2.3 million of AGI, primarily from dividends and interest. She received $5.1 million of gross income, $2.8 million of it tax exempt interest income. Mrs. Heinz Kerry, who filed separately from Senator Kerry, thus paid federal income tax at the rate of 12.3% of her gross income and 27.4% of her AGI. She referred to herself as "Teresa Heinz" on the tax return and listed her occupation as "philanthropist."

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 2:07 PM | Report abuse

"Campaign spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter said yesterday that Heinz Kerry's tax returns, whenever they are filed, would not be made public, because she is a private citizen who is under no requirement to do so.


Speaking to reporters in Beverly Hills, Calif., yesterday, Heinz Kerry said she did not want to make her tax returns public because it would violate the privacy of her three sons. "If some god of taxes would want to come in and look at all of my portfolio, I'd let them," she said. "But I don't think I have the right to put my children's privacy out into the open."

Heinz Kerry already provides information about her personal finances on Senate ethics disclosure forms. Presidential candidates are not required to disclose their tax records, but almost all do so. Politicians' spouses who file taxes separately rarely face pressure to make returns public.

According to the Internal Revenue Service website, the automatic extension is for four months, which would mean that Heinz Kerry could file her returns anytime between now and mid-August. If she waits until then, it would be after the Democratic National Convention, in late July, and at a time when many Americans will be tuning into the televised 2004 Summer Olympic Games or are possibly on vacation.

Officials with the Bush campaign and the Republican National Committee declined to comment about Heinz Kerry's tax returns yesterday."

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Ever since they want to cut off argument, saved on videotape and in newsprint, from those who defended John Kerry on not releasing his wife's tax returns from exactly four years ago:

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 2:01 PM | Report abuse

From blog above:
"Campaign officials said the decision not to release Cindy McCain's returns was based, in part, on the precedent set by the 2004 Democratic nominee, Sen. John Kerry, whom they said did not share details of his wife's fortune."

Since when do the Republicans follow precedent set by the Democrats?

Posted by: Dave | April 18, 2008 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Do they think we're stupid? Everybody knows McCain's wife has a fortune she inherited. I guess the only way to find out who controls what is if a divorce happened. Then we'd see how much John thinks he should be worth.

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Cindy made him sign a pre-nup because she knew that he could do to her what he did to his first wife. He doesn't actually have access to any of her money. If he decides to follow "the little puppy dog" around, she'll cut him off. Yup, a real 'family values' kind of guy. How does that square with the evangelicals demand that a women must be subservient to the man? You know, the weaker vessel thing?

Posted by: thebob.bob | April 18, 2008 1:33 PM | Report abuse

He lives in a household with $100 million of assets, but don't call him an elitist.

Posted by: Brendan | April 18, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

I agree, it is not comparable to the Kerry situation in 2004. It was the wife's wealth that catapulted him into Congress in the 80s; without this wealth, McCain's presidential candidacy would be, let's say, "academic." Teresa Kerry just had a penchant for marrying already-sitting Senators.

Posted by: PierreSD | April 18, 2008 1:02 PM | Report abuse

How does McCain not report his wife's income and claim they keep separate finances, then turn around and take credit for the fact that "the couple" donated $340K to charity? Just more "straight talk" from the media's favorite "maverick."

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 12:56 PM | Report abuse

There would be no "Senator McCain" without Cindy. She and her family bankrolled him and his campaigns.

There is no comparison to Teresa Heinz who married an established U.S. Senator.

Posted by: Stav | April 18, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Sounds reasonable to me (esp. if you supported Teresa Heinz-Kerry doing the same 4 years ago).

Posted by: Anonymous | April 18, 2008 12:15 PM | Report abuse

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