John McCain Continues His 'Cheap' Flights in Wife's Plane

Submitted by SadInAmerica on Sun, 05/11/2008 - 11:11pm.

Cindy McCain said Thursday that she would never release her personal income tax filing even if her husband, Senator John McCain, was elected president. But Federal Aviation Administration records indicate that she appears to be using her personal wealth to help his campaign, through the continued use of her corporate jet.

The New York Times reported last month that during a crucial five-month period Mr. McCain's campaign regularly used a corporate jet owned by the Phoenix-based beer distributor that Mrs. McCain heads, saving the campaign hundreds of thousands of dollars. His campaign pays rates well below market ones for the plane's use because of an unresolved exemption in a recent campaign finance law that Mr. McCain backed.

According to public records, the campaign has continued to use the plane, even as Mr. McCain, of Arizona, became the presumed Republican nominee and his campaign's finances have improved. In late April, for instance, the plane landed in Selma and Birmingham, Ala., at the same time he was there as part of his tour of impoverished areas. It also landed last month in New Orleans just before Mr. McCain's appearances there.

And, according to aviation agency records, it landed at Teterboro Airport in New Jersey, just outside New York City, on Wednesday evening, apparently to pick up Mrs. McCain, who was in New York with her husband for campaign events and interviews.

The plane left Teterboro on Thursday morning en route to Reagan National Airport outside Washington, where Mrs. McCain had a campaign-related event, records indicate.

Mr. McCain has said his campaign's method of reimbursing his wife's company for the plane is legal, and no one disputes that. But critics have argued that Mrs. McCain is effectively subsidizing her husband's campaign because either she or her company has to make up for the difference between what his campaign pays for the jet's use and what it really costs to operate it.

Barry Meier and Margot Williams - May 10, 2008 - posted at

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Submitted by SadInAmerica on Sun, 05/11/2008 - 11:11pm.