Cindy McCain is Urged to Release Her Tax Returns

Submitted by SadInAmerica on Wed, 05/14/2008 - 11:56pm.

Republican presidential candidate John McCain came under criticism on Wednesday for his wife Cindy's refusal to release her tax returns.

The Arizona senator last month released his tax records for 2006 and 2007 but not those of his much wealthier wife, who inherited a multimillion-dollar Anheuser-Busch beer distributorship, from her father. Her net worth is estimated at around $100 million.

The McCains, who married in 1980, say there is no need for Cindy McCain to release the tax documents because the couple keep their finances separate. Citing privacy concerns, the candidate's wife told NBC's "Today" show last week she would not release the returns even if she became first lady.

Some newspapers have joined Democrats in calling for the release of Cindy McCain's tax records.

"The candidate should get his wife to reconsider," The Washington Post wrote in an editorial on Wednesday. "The last thing the country needs in a new president is more secrecy."

The Washington Times said in an editorial on Wednesday the refusal to release the records was at odds with McCain's long-held advocacy of transparency and ethics in government. The Times said the tax-return issue was an "open sore" sure to fester during the campaign.

"I respectfully disagree with those editorials," McCain told reporters during a stop at a recycling plant near Columbus.

Presidential candidates are not required to release their tax returns but most major White House contenders have done so. In 2004, Teresa Heinz Kerry, the wealthy wife of then-Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry, initially declined to release her tax returns but eventually changed her mind after she faced criticism for keeping the records private.

The McCain campaign also confirmed that Cindy McCain sold more than $2 million in mutual funds with investments in companies that do business in Sudan.

McCain has been a strong advocate for imposing international financial sanctions on Sudan because of the 5-year-old Darfur conflict, in which U.N. officials estimate as many as 300,000 people may have been killed.

McCain's campaign said Cindy McCain had been unaware that Hensley and Co, the beer distributorship she chairs, had investments in a mutual fund whose holdings included companies that do business in Sudan.

"When she was made aware, she sold it," said McCain campaign communications director Jill Hazelbaker.

"Obviously we didn't know about it," McCain said. "I didn't know anything about it until I saw the story because I don't have anything to do with her finances."

Reuters - Steve Holland and Caren Bohan - Editing by Peter Cooney - May 14, 2008 - posted at http://www.reuters.com/article/politicsNews/

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Submitted by SadInAmerica on Wed, 05/14/2008 - 11:56pm.