Cindy McCain's Tax Info Released (Kinda)

GOP presidential candidate's wife keeps details to a minimum.

ByABC News
May 23, 2008, 8:02 PM

May 23, 2008— -- After GOP Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign spent the past several days dumping a series of lobbyists with conflict-of-interest issues, rejecting endorsements from two controversial evangelists and releasing the 71-year-old candidate's medical records, what could be left to jettison?

A small portion of his wealthy wife's IRS returns, apparently.

As millions of Americans switched off the news this afternoon and hit the road for the Memorial Day weekend, the McCain campaign released the first two pages of his wealthy wife's 2006 IRS filing.

The pages summarize the would-be first lady's finances for that year. They state she earned $6 million, mostly through real estate and corporate holdings. She claimed $569,737 in deductions and had an estimated federal tax bill of $1.75 million. Beyond that the returns say next to nothing, experts confirmed.

"It tells us she has a lot of money, lives off income from her investments, but doesn't tell us how that money is made," tax lawyer Lee Sheppard said.

Sheppard called the release a "symbolic but hollow gesture."

In 2006, McCain made about $160,000 as a U.S. senator. Additionally, he reported in his Senate disclosures, he received $56,000 in income from his Navy pension, as well as a glass bird from the Republican Main Street Partnership valued at $850, and an $8,000 Waterford crystal eagle on an engraved stand from Irish American Magazine. Royalties for the books he wrote were donated to charity.

The release of Cindy McCain's tax information came just weeks after she and the campaign vowed she would not share the information with the public. It also came largely without notice -- unlike the campaign's release of the candidate's medical history early Friday morning.

"Ms. McCain decided to make the information available despite her concerns about protecting her personal privacy and that of her children," said a campaign spokesman who declined to be named. "She just didn't want the release of the tax returns to become a distraction from the big issues of the campaign."