Sunday, April 20, 2008

John McCain's Lavish Wealth, and Why Cindy McCain Must Release Her Tax Returns

John McCain released only the last two years of his personal tax returns last week, but his wife -- she of the $100 million net worth -- refused to release hers.
John McCain 2008
- scroll down for tax returns

This lead the media to commit all sorts of inanities, like silly Dana Bash of CNN claiming that McCain gave away 26% of his income to charity, while "the Clintons" gave 15%, and "the Obamas" gave away 6%. Well, you can't compare apples and oranges, but there goes CNN, comparing one half of a couple with two couples.

The tax return for the John and Cindy McCain Family Foundation shows that the foundation, founded and endowed by a couple worth $100 million, gave only $78,000 and change to charity last year. That's less than .1 percent of their net worth. That's like a person worth $250,000 giving less than $250 to charity. Not exactly generous.

And that isn't even getting to the issue of the fact that most of McCain's charitable donations go to the "John and Cindy McCain Family Foundation". So middle class. Set up your own charity and decide where your supposed charitable money goes. And where does their supposed charity go? To their own children's elite private schools.

Between 2001 and 2006, McCain contributed roughly $950,000 to the foundation. That accounted for all of its listed income other than for $100 that came from an anonymous donor. During that same period, the McCain foundation made contributions of roughly $1.6 million. More than $500,000 went to his kids’ private schools, most of which was donated when his children were attending those institutions. So McCain apparently received major tax deductions for supporting elite schools attended by his children.

The rest of us are buying wrapping paper, candy bars and magazines to support local public schools; the McCains use the tax laws to give their own money to their kids' elite private schools, and then get a tax break. Nice work if you can get it.

The McCains apparently reduced their charitable giving to their kids schools this year, perhaps anticipating that it wouldn't play so well with the taxpaying public. In 2006 they gave Brophy College Preparatory $50,500. At Brophy, you can walk through McCain Colonnade on your way to Charles Keating Hall (brings to mind "Thieves Like Us"). In 2006 they gave Christ Lutheran School (which their two youngest children, Jim and Bridget, attended) $42,629. This year they gave their daughter Bridget's school, Scottsdale Christian Academy, a measly $5,000.

As the media seem uninclined to do their job and pursue McCain's wife's tax returns, I decided to look to see what is out there in the public domain about their assets. I read somewhere that they own 8 houses. Where are they? I went looking, and this is what I found:

1) Phoenix. I started the list off with this house, as there are more pictures of it on the 'net than the others, but it's been sold:

Cindy McCain, through a family trust, sold the family mansion in Phoenix for $3.2 million and bought a $4.6 million Phoenix condo in 2006.

But, since I don't have any photos of the $4.6 (or $4.7) million condo, (the one with "6,000 square feet, [] mountain views, a rooftop pool, concierge service, and McCain’s extensive collection of naval memorabilia") I'll let you see the less expensive mansion they sold to buy it. The house was featured in Architectural Digest in 2005. This was the house Cindy McCain grew up in, although today it is much larger, as it was gut-rehabbed and expanded in the mid-1980s.

2 - 5) Hidden Valley, Arizona. The primary house on this property was featured on HGTV. There's no date on the piece, but in the photograph their children are all much younger, so it's at least 10 years old. At first, I was going to count this as three houses, as the HGTV article says

The McCains have not only made additions to the existing house but also built a separate nearby guest house and even purchased the house next door to expand their living and entertainment space.

But it turns out that this is the house that the media described as a "cabin" where McCain entertained them with BBQ last month. This article from CNN states

He said he built the first house on his property 24 years ago and now there are six houses on his lot.
Since this property is reported to include four houses worth $1.8 million, they must have built a fourth house. (The other two houses are reportedly owned by friends.)

The media who gathered for the BBQ agreed not to publish photographs of the ranch, so we are left with their print descriptions:

Nestled in a canyon at the end of a steep, winding road, the area is called "Hidden Valley Ranch," just like the salad dressing. The McCain family owns several cabins on the land, which is dotted with dozens of large old trees. The property sits adjacent to Oak Creek, a usually slow-moving stream that recently swelled its banks because of runoff from snow in the nearby mountains. (Newsweek)
...his rustic cabin in nearby unincorporated Cornville. [] ... the lush, tree-laden property is tucked away in a valley reachable only via a bumpy and at times precarious dirt road.(Arizona Republic)
McCain’s property is down a twisting, rocky dirt road, nestled at the bottom of a canyon between Sedona and Cottonwood. McCain and his wife, Cindy, and longtime family friends own a total of six homes on land that sits on the banks of the rushing Oak Creek, which recently overflowed. The extra homes are used as guest cabins for friends who come to visit, such as Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman and his wife, former Sen. Phil Gramm and Wendy Gramm, and South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham, among others. (Chicago Tribune)

6) It is widely reported that McCain lives in a condo in Arlington, Virginia while Congress is in session, although AP is nervous about stating that directly:

The couple may also jointly own a condo in Arlington, Virginia, assessed at $847,800. McCain's campaign and Hensley declined to say whether the couple has communal property.

They may own it, or some corporate entity they set up may own it, but it's where McCain lives while Congress is in session.

7 - 8) Two luxury condominiums in Coronado, California, on the beach beside the Hotel del Coronado.

Cindy McCain’s assets go beyond the family beer company.

She and her children own a minority stake in the Arizona Diamondbacks. The professional baseball team’s chief executive, Jeff Moorad, and former majority owner Jerry Colangelo are McCain fundraisers. Red Sox pitcher Curt Schilling, a former Diamondback player, appeared in a New Hampshire campaign advertisement for McCain.

Assets held by Cindy McCain alone or with her children also include Anheuser-Busch stock; two condominiums along the California coast worth a total of at least $3 million and Arizona investments in rental medical offices and a parking lot, according to property records and John McCain’s latest financial disclosure reports.

Cindy McCain describes their properties as:

We have a place at Coronado Shores, right next to the Hotel del Coronado.

Asked by a magazine if this will be the McCain Western White House, she replies:

Absolutely. I love Coronado. Listen, to me there’s nothing better than waking up and seeing the sun come up over the water on the bay there. And watching the Navy SEALs run up and down the beach. And walking along the beach and then watching the sun set over Point Loma. That’s a great way to live.

If you look up the Hotel del Coronado on GoogleEarth, there are several huge condominum complexes overlooking the beach just to the southeast of the hotel, which must be what she is talking about. Coronado Shores.

And that's just their houses. I'm sure they own lots of stocks and bonds. McCain is proposing that Bush's tax cuts for millionaires be extended forever. He is likely to make a lot of money if his policies are enacted. Voters have a right to know how much he would profit. Since Arizona is a community property state, Cindy McCain's assets are John McCain's assets. John McCain, who was quick to call Barack Obama an elitist, lives a lavish life, with opulent homes from coast to coast. His life is funded by his wife's massive wealth. Which is why it is absurd that she has not released her tax returns.


kissmekitty said...

her company makes 300 million DOLLARS PER YEAR,@10 x earnings the company ALONE is worth at least 3 B I L L I O N DOLLARS

grumbledor said...

Sorry to burst some bubbles:

1. Arizona's community property law pretty much follows California's. Accordingly (check out the link to see the AZ statute quoted) Mrs. McCain's interest in the beer company is NOT community property (she either had it pre-marriage or inherited either case, it is NOT his) and neither would be anything she bought using proceeds from the sale of anything inherited.

2. Her company doesn't "make" 300M per year...It has gross revenues in that area. After taxes, overhead, salaries and all other costs of doing business, it may only make a fraction of that. No one is going to value a beer distributorship grossing $300M per year at 10 x that amount.

3. Since when is DONATING to one's children's school somehow not worthy. I can assure you that whatever they gave was in addition to what they paid in tuition.

4. B. Hussein Obama has NEVER met a payroll. Never employed anyone in a private enterprise and got his pricey home in a clearly crooked deal. He'll raise taxes on the top 10% who pay 70% of ALL federal income taxes now. Do you think that will help the unemployment situation of help an already troubled economy?

Anonymous said...

I agree with the above comment. This entire blog is written in a tone that suggests all of the information above is negative. They own a lot of property, good investing. They get a tax break with their non profit organization. Sounds like a win win situation to me.
I am not saying that McCain is nessesarily the way to vote. I do however believe that the tone of this blog applied to the lives of humans will result in unhappiness and little emotional success.

Chus said...

This is what I think: Cindy McCain The View

Anonymous said...

As I'm reading this blog and the FACTS mentioned about McCain and his wife (I've cross checked every single one).. it really is a no brainer to see how corrupt McCain is. Of course, this is not any different than any of the other republicans out there.. it's simply all about the bottom line. However, what my most fellow naive republican Americans don't get, is that if McCain gets into the office.. It’s only that top 5 percent, super wealthy that are going to take full advantage of his policies.. not the remaining majority.
Unless you gross well into the six figures (which we know about 95% of Americans don't), then all McCain and his party are going to do.. is simply keep up with world destruction to fill up their wallets even more.
It's a sad sad time to see so many Americans are so misinformed and naive. Of course many other adjectives come to mind when thinking of any republican supporter out there.. But I don't think that they would have the intelligence to understand those "BIG" words.. after all their brain is as small as Sara Palin.. enough said.

Anonymous said...

Republicans = Red necks!
that should sum it up

Anonymous said...

It's more like Republicans = KKK
Very interesting how grumbledor had to refer to Obama as "B Hussein Obama".. what are you trying to prove... Barack would have sufficed.

Singapore Condominium said...

Thank you for another essential article. Where else could anyone get that kind of information in such a complete way of writing?

Charley said...


Kate Louise said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Margaret said...

The Republicans have nothing on the democrats when it comes to immense wealth of congress...

Alex Estrada said...

Plerase read and share this press release regarding Cindy McCain and her alleged conspiracy to commit murder.

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