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Cindy McCain Releases 2006 Tax Returns

Updated 8:18 p.m.
By Michael D. Shear
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Cindy McCain earned about $6 million in income in 2006 and paid taxes of about $1.7 million, according to a two-page summary of her taxes that the campaign released Friday afternoon.

McCain, the wife of presidential candidate John McCain and the heiress to a beer distribution fortune, had said she would never release her tax returns. The couple has filed separate tax returns for 28 years and the Arizona senator has already released some of his tax returns.

In a television interview with ABC news earlier this month, Cindy McCain said "this is a privacy issue. My husband is the candidate." Asked by interviewer Ann Curry whether she would release her returns if she were first lady, she said, "No. No. I'm not the candidate."

But the campaign apparently felt pressure that they were hiding something, and changed their position.

The returns show that she received a salary of $299,418 in 2006 and interest of about $40,000. She also reported taxable gains of $743,476. But most of her income -- $4,551,901 -- came from a category that includes rental real estate, royalties, partnerships, corporations or trusts. The campaign did not release documents that detail what that money is from.

The two pages of documents are the summary sheets from the 1040 tax form she filled out. It shows that she paid $1,746,445 in federal taxes in 2006.

If the disclosure was aimed at satisfying her critics, it did not seem to do so. A spokeswoman for the Democratic National Committee issued a statement blasting the release as far too little.

"It is laughable for the campaign to release so little information and say they are being transparent," said the DNC's Karen Finney. "This is another indication that John McCain is not serious when he says he wants to run a transparent campaign, and a disturbing sign that a vote for John McCain is a vote for four more years of secrecy."

McCain spokesman Brian Rogers said, in reply, "It's laughable for the Democrats to criticize Mrs. McCain for far exceeding the standard of transparency the Democratic nominee set in 2004."

By Web Politics Editor  |  May 23, 2008; 5:10 PM ET
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