|"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"
|"The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself."
-- Proverbs 11:25
Cindy McCain and the McCain children are the beneficiaries of a beer distributing fortune amassed by her parents and estimated to be worth $100 million or more. Though the McCains maintain separate finances, Cindy McCain’s family fortune has boosted her husband’s political career at critical junctures, helping to fund his inaugural 1982 run for Congress and helping to subsidize his current presidential campaign when it all but went broke last year.
In recent years, a Politico analysis found, the McCain family appears to have tapped its fortune liberally.
While Cindy McCain, her dependent children and the trusts and companies they control made as much as $29 million — and likely substantially more — from her family’s business interests from 2004 through last year, data from the Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. Senate, the U.S. Office of Government Ethics and the Center for Responsive Politics also reveals that they spent $11 million purchasing five condominiums for the family, hired additional household help and racked up progressively larger credit card bills almost every year.
Their credit card bills peaked between January 2007 and May 2008, during which time Cindy McCain charged as much as $500,000 in a single month on one American Express card and $250,000 on another, while one of their two dependent children had an AmEx card with a monthly balance as large as $50,000.
A campaign aide who did not want to be identified discussing the McCains’ personal finances stressed that the credit card balances are “not ongoing debt.”
The aide pointed out that the disclosure forms on which the credit card liabilities were listed ask respondents to indicate ranges for the largest balances owed during the reporting period.
“It has been the McCains’ practice and procedure, as previously indicated, to pay off the balance of credit cards on a monthly basis, so they do not carry credit card debt,” the aide said in a statement.
The aide did not answer questions about what Cindy McCain or her children purchased with the cards and declined to make either she or her husband available for an interview about their finances or spending habits.