McCain family wealth mostly in wife’s name


The Associated Press

Republican presidential candidate John McCain said he wasn’t sure how many houses he and his wife own. Here is a rundown of the wealth of the Arizona Republican senator and his wife, Cindy. Most assets are in Mrs. McCain’s name.

Property records reviewed by The Associated Press show McCain and his family own at least eight homes: A ranch and two condos in Arizona; three condos in Coronado, Calif.; a condo in La Jolla, Calif.; and another in Arlington, Va. The number of houses is a bit trickier to determine since the ranch has at least four houses and a two-story cabin.
Cindy McCain is heiress to her father’s stake — and serves as chairwoman — of a family owned Anheuser-Busch distributor in Phoenix, Hensley & Co. Beverage industry analysts estimate Hensley’s value at more than $250 million and its annual sales at $300 million or more.
Cindy 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.
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.
Mrs. McCain’s beer earnings afforded the senator the use of a private jet and vacation homes.
Sen. McCain reports little more wealth than when he started in politics. With his book royalties and radio-appearance fees donated to charity, McCain’s Senate salary of $169,300 and Navy pension of about $56,000 are his only significant sources of income.
McCain has long said he refrains from voting on beer industry-specific issues.
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.




McCain’s broken marriage and fractured Reagan friendship,0,5924926,full.story

From the Los Angeles Times

McCain’s broken marriage and fractured Reagan friendship

The nature and timing of his divorce from Carol Shepp alienated key friends — and his version doesn’t always match that in court documents.

By Richard A. Serrano and Ralph Vartabedian
Los Angeles Times Staff Writers

July 11, 2008

Outside her Bel-Air home, Nancy Reagan stood arm in arm with John McCain and offered a significant — but less than exuberant — endorsement.

“Ronnie and I always waited until everything was decided, and then we endorsed,” the Republican matriarch said in March. “Well, obviously this is the nominee of the party.” They were the only words she would speak during the five-minute photo op.

In a written statement, she described McCain as “a good friend for over 30 years.” But that friendship was strained in the late 1970s by McCain’s decision to divorce his first wife, Carol, who was particularly close to the Reagans, and within weeks marry Cindy Hensley, the young heiress to a lucrative Arizona beer distributorship.

The Reagans rushed to help Carol, finding her a new home in Southern California with the family of Reagan aide Edwin Meese III and a series of political and White House jobs to ease her through that difficult time.

McCain, who is about to become the GOP nominee, has made several statements about how he divorced Carol and married Hensley that conflict with the public record.

In his 2002 memoir, “Worth the Fighting For,” McCain wrote that he had separated from Carol before he began dating Hensley.

“I spent as much time with Cindy in Washington and Arizona as our jobs would allow,” McCain wrote. “I was separated from Carol, but our divorce would not become final until February of 1980.”

An examination of court documents tells a different story. McCain did not sue his wife for divorce until Feb. 19, 1980, and he wrote in his court petition that he and his wife had “cohabited” until Jan. 7 of that year — or for the first nine months of his relationship with Hensley.

Although McCain suggested in his autobiography that months passed between his divorce and remarriage, the divorce was granted April 2, 1980, and he wed Hensley in a private ceremony five weeks later. McCain obtained an Arizona marriage license on March 6, 1980, while still legally married to his first wife.

Until McCain filed for divorce, the Reagans and their inner circle assumed he was happily married, and they were stunned to learn otherwise, according to several close aides.

“Everybody was upset with him,” recalled Nancy Reynolds, a top aide to the former president who introduced him to McCain.

By contrast, some of McCain’s friends, including the Senate aide who was at the reception where McCain first met Hensley, believed he was separated at that time.

Albert “Pete” Lakeland, the aide who was with McCain at the reception in Hawaii in April 1979, said of the introduction to Hensley: “It was like he was struck by Cupid’s arrow. He was just enormously smitten.”

As the pair began dating, Lakeland allowed them to spend a weekend together at his summer home in Maryland, he said.

The senator has acknowledged that he behaved badly, and that his swift divorce and remarriage brought a cold shoulder from the Reagans that lasted years.

In a recent interview, McCain said he did not want to revisit the breakup of his marriage. “I have a very good relationship with my first wife,” he said. In his autobiography, he wrote: “My marriage’s collapse was attributable to my own selfishness and immaturity. The blame was entirely mine.”

Tucker Bounds, a McCain campaign spokesman, said: “Of course we will not comment on the breakup of the senator’s first marriage, other than to note that the senator has always taken responsibility for it.”

Carol McCain did not respond to a request for an interview.

About all she has ever said is this to McCain biographer Robert Timberg: “John was turning 40 and wanting to be 25 again.”

After leaving the White House, Carol McCain worked in press relations in the Washington area, retiring about five years ago after working for the National Soft Drink Assn. She now lives in Virginia Beach, Va., and has not remarried. She has two sons from an earlier marriage: Andy, a vice president at Cindy McCain’s beer distributorship, and Doug, a commercial airline pilot.

Carol and John McCain had a daughter, Sidney, who works in the music industry in Canada.

John McCain, who calls himself “a foot soldier in the Reagan revolution,” said in his memoir: “My divorce from Carol, whom the Reagans loved, caused a change in our relationship. Nancy . . . was particularly upset with me and treated me on the few occasions we encountered each other after I came to Congress with a cool correctness that made her displeasure clear.

“I had, of course, deserved the change in our relationship.”

Joanne Drake, spokeswoman for Nancy Reagan, did not return phone calls seeking comment.

The first Mrs. McCain

McCain met Carol Shepp through a mutual friend and fellow midshipman at the Naval Academy, from which McCain graduated in 1958. That friend, Alasdair E. Swanson, married her in 1958. In the early 1960s, the Swansons lived in Pensacola, Fla., where Alasdair Swanson and McCain served as Navy pilots.

But that marriage ended in June 1964 after Carol sued for divorce, alleging that her husband had been unfaithful.

According to McCain, he started seeing Carol shortly afterward. They were married in Philadelphia, her hometown, in July 1965. McCain adopted her two sons, and they had a daughter together. Then in October 1967, McCain’s plane was shot down and he was captured by the North Vietnamese.

She became active in the POW-MIA movement. A former model, she dedicated herself to her children and kept the family together, friends said, while awaiting his return.

“She had the perseverance to carry on,” said Melinda Fitzwater, a cousin of McCain’s who later worked with Carol McCain at the White House. “She had a little baby and small kids. She was a great, unique person.”

On Christmas Eve 1969, while she was driving alone in Philadelphia, Carol McCain’s car skidded and struck a utility pole. Thrown into the snow, she broke both legs, an arm and her pelvis. She was operated on a dozen times, and in the treatment she lost about 5 inches in height.

After John McCain was released in March 1973 and returned to the U.S., he told friends that Carol was not the woman he had married.

Reynolds, working for then-California Gov. Ronald Reagan, said she first met the couple in San Francisco at a reception for ex-prisoners. She later introduced them to the Reagans at their home in Pacific Palisades.

“They were just an attractive couple,” Reynolds said. “The Reagans had great admiration and respect for John.”

In 1974, Reagan invited McCain to speak at a governor’s prayer breakfast in Sacramento. The former prisoner of war told the story of a fellow captive who had scratched a prayer on a cell wall. Ronald and Nancy Reagan were reduced to tears. It was “the most moving speech I had ever heard,” Reynolds said.

In the next few years, family and friends said, there was no sign that McCain was unhappy in his marriage. Fitzwater recalled visiting the family on Thanksgivings, and McCain seemed content barbecuing a turkey on his outdoor grill near Jacksonville, Fla.

Navy officers in the squadron McCain commanded in 1977 said they did not know anything was wrong. “When I went to parties at their home, everything seemed fine,” said Mike Akin, a naval flying instructor. “They seemed to be a happily married couple.”

But two years later, while on a trip as a Navy liaison with the Senate, McCain spied Hensley at the Honolulu reception. In a recent television interview with Jay Leno on the “Tonight Show,” Cindy McCain joked about how the Navy captain had pursued her. “He kind of chased me around . . . the hors d’oeuvre table,” she said. “I was trying to get something to eat and I thought, ‘This guy’s kind of weird.’ I was kind of trying to get away from him.”

John McCain was 42; she was 24. During the next nine months, he would fly to Arizona or she would come to the Washington area, where McCain and Carol had a home.

Carol McCain later told friends, including Reynolds and Fitzwater, that she did not know he was seeing anyone else.

John McCain sued for divorce in Fort Walton Beach, Fla., where his friend and fellow former POW, George E. “Bud” Day, practiced law and could represent him.

In the petition, he stated that the couple had “cohabited as husband and wife” until Jan. 7, 1980.

His wife did not contest the divorce, and Day said that the couple had reached an agreement in advance on support and division of property. By then she was living in La Mesa, in San Diego County, with the family of Meese, a close Reagan aide and future attorney general.

“We knew John and Carol both since he came back from Hanoi in 1973,” Meese said recently. “They have been friends of ours ever since.

“She was with us for maybe four or five months. Their daughter and our daughter were friends, and they went to school together.”

Carol McCain was distraught at being blindsided by her husband’s intention to end their marriage, said her friends in the Reagan circle.

“They [the Reagans] weren’t happy with him,” Fitzwater said. Carol McCain “was this little, frail person. . . . She was brokenhearted.”

By that time, Nancy Reagan had come to Carol McCain’s aid, hiring her as a press assistant in the 1980 presidential campaign.

When the Reagans moved to Washington, she was named director of the White House Visitors Office.

“Nancy Reagan was crazy about her,” Reynolds said. “But everybody was crazy about Carol McCain. . . . And the Meeses were very generous and helpful and comforting to her.”

Fitzwater said that living in Southern California and working on the Reagan campaign helped Carol McCain move past the loss of her marriage.

“It was perfect for her. She was traveling, and it took her mind off a very, very sad time for her.”

Who is the real Cindy McCain”

We know she is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Jim Hensley and an heiress. 
We know she apparently is unable to tell the truth, much like her husband. 
The Mother Teresa Lie 
Let’s begin with a couple of small things she has lied about — her personal recipes that she “borrowed” from the Food Network.  Now the McCain website has removed the “plagiarized” recipes.  The adoption of the young child from Bagladesh has morphed in recent months — in an interview published on February 3, 2008, in the Sunday Mail, Mrs. McCain stated:“While working at Mother Teresa’s orphanage in the early 1990s, I stumbled upon the most beautiful little girl I’d ever seen,” she said. “She had a terrible cleft palate. She had problems with her feet. She had problems with her hands. She had all kinds of problems.”  “As only Mother Teresa can, she prevailed upon me to take this baby and another baby to the United States for medical care.”   The McCain camp has again had to revise its website and remove yet another lie.  The fact is — Cindy McCain never even met Mother Teresa.  Why the McCain felt the need to embellish is beyond comprehension — the act alone of taking a young child with medical problems to the states and then adopting that child should have been enough.  One has to ask — why wasn’t it?  Why use this child that you supposedly love for political purposes?
The Double Standard of Being a Wealthy Drug Addict and the lies surrounding the addiction
Mrs. McCain was also a drug addict — I say was because frankly I have no idea what the situation is today relative to her drug usage.  She became addicted to pain killers after suffering from severe pain.  That is a tragedy.  What turns the story around is that she “stole” drugs from her own. 
Specifically, she had solicited prescriptions for painkillers from physicians who worked a charity that she founded, the American Voluntary Medical Team. She then filled the prescriptions in the names of her staff.   In fact.  Furthermore, Mrs. McCain was investigated by the Drug Enforcement Administration after the agency was approached by a former staff member of her charity. The investigation resulted in no charges or prison time for her, and she entered a diversion program. While these records were not made public at the time, Mrs. McCain eventually confessed her drug use when she learned that a reporter was investigating the story.
What would have happened if Mrs. McCain was poor and uneducated — an inner-city drug user?  One must remember, that unlike the poor and uneducated,  she could entered drug treatment at any time she chose — she could have sought the very best care for her addiction.  And, importantly, Mrs. McCain was violating a position of trust by stealing from a charitable organization, using its money and medical expertise to fuel her drug use. Is this not morally more reprehensible than simply purchasing drugs illegally?Mrs. McCain was also the mother of four children at the time she admits to using drugs–between 1989 and 1992. Her children were born in 1984, 1986, 1988 and 1991. In other words, Cindy McCain was using drugs while raising small children, one of whom she adopted while she was an addict. In most states, family services will remove children from a woman who is known to be an active drug addict, and she would certainly not be allowed to adopt a child while addicted.  But apparently our laws do not apply to the rich and famous.

Finally, and ironically, John McCain is a hawk in the drug war. He advocates stricter drug laws, penalties and enforcement against drug sellers. He has had nothing to say about redressing our punitive approach toward drug users. Of course, McCain also supports family values. Yet if John and Cindy McCain were not well-off and influential, they might not have a family at all. McCain’s lack of concern for street drug users contrasts sharply with the support and understanding his wife received.   And, given their supposedly close relationship, why didn’t Senator McCain notice that for three years his wife was a drug addict.  This is rather interesting family values.  But, as discussed below, this family’s values are even more strange.

 Cindy McCain’s Siblings

Mrs. McCain has stated that she was an only child — not that she was raised as an only child.  We know that she was not an only child — she apparently has two half sisters, although little is known about Mrs. Dixie Burd, daughter of Cindy’s mother.  However, the other half sister has spoken out — and we should take heed of what she has stated.  Clearly, Cindy was the apple of his father’s eye.  But he did not totally ignore his other daughter — he was generous with presents and he provided help with putting her children, his grandchildren, through college.

Hensley provided credit cards and college tuition to his grandchildren as well as $10,000 gifts to Portalski and her husband, NPR reported. Portalski also inherited $10,000 when Hensley died in 2000  — a modest inheritance to say the least.  One wonders what kind of person Jim Hensley was — but that’s another story.  Apparently, when Mr. Hensley died, Cindy McCain cancelled the credits cards for her half sister.  Let’s see, the McCain’s are family values candidates — yet, she ignores her half sister.  This says something for those values — or lack thereof.

So, we know that Cindy and John McCain have trouble with the truth — she lied about her relationship with Mother Teresa, her drug addiction and how she got those drugs, her status as an only child, and she cut off her sibling from any additional portion of her sizeable fortune.  These are just a few of things we know about — more keeps coming every day.  Oh, yes, and she refuses to release ALL of her tax information because she is not the one running for president.  Apparently these two live totally separate lives — that may be more true than we know since he never knew about her drug addiction.  We also know that John McCain was a womanizer before and during his first marriage — does that go away?  Or is this something else that is being hidden.  We all know, from the Bill Clinton example, that generally once a womanizer always a womanizer.  Perhaps that is why he did not know his wife was a drug addict — he was too busy elsewhere.

Opiate for the Mrs.-When laws are broken, somebody’s got to be punished

The Anatomy of a Deception: How The McCains Changed Their Baby Adoption Story Just Before 2008 Campaign Began

Mark Nickolas

August 21, 2008


As was pointed out yesterday by the Christian Science Monitor, the McCain campaign was called out for lying about the purported urging of Cindy McCain by Mother Teresa herself to adopt two children at her orphanage back in 1991. Turns out, McCain never met or even spoke with Mother Teresa on that trip.

Once confronted by the Monitor about the deception, the campaign quickly erased such claims from the website, as it did with Cindy’s family recipes, which were proved to be lifted from the Food Network.

But after doing some research, this deception was no careless accident, but rather another shameless and deliberate attempt by the campaign to reinvent and embellish the McCain family history in time for his 2008 presidential bid.

Here’s how the McCain adoption was described by them prior to the 2008 presidential race:

Newsweek (Nov. 15, 1999, Cindy McCain’s Own Story):

On finding a child while running a relief mission to Bangladesh in 1991:

I was working in Dhaka, and a friend of mine from Arizona had said to me, Look, while you’re there, do me a favor. Mother Teresa has an orphanage in Dhaka. Would you mind seeing if they need any help? And I said, Sure. We finally found the orphanage, and we saw 150 newborns on one floor. And a lot of them were sick. And the nuns said, [This little girl with a cleft palate]–can’t you take her and get her medical help? And I thought, well, sure I can, I can do that.

CNBC (Feb 12, 2000, Tim Russert Interview with the McCains):

Mrs. McCAIN: She’s–our daughter Bridget is eight years old. I found her in Mother Teresa’s orphanage when she was 10 weeks old in Bangladesh. She has a cleft palate; she had some other problems. And the nuns persuaded me to bring her home, and I did. I–I could do that. I was able to do that. And literally on board the flight home from Bangkok to Los Angeles, not having spoken to my husband, I decided I couldn’t c–I had to–I couldn’t let her go. I had–she chose me. So she’s ours now. I came home and presented my husband with a new daughter that he didn’t know he had.

Vanity Fair (November 2004, The Trashing of John McCain):

In 1991, when Cindy McCain was on a relief mission to Bangladesh, she was asked by one of Mother Teresa’s nuns to help a young orphan with a cleft palate. Flying her to the U.S. for surgery, Cindy realized she couldn’t give her up. At the Phoenix airport, she broke it to her husband, and they eventually adopted the child. But few people knew that story. In the words of McCain’s national campaign manager, Rick Davis, a smear doesn’t have “to be true to be effective.”

Now see how the story changed at the beginning of 2008:

The Sunday Mail (Feb. 3, 2008, Dark past no barrier for Cindy):

“While working at Mother Teresa’s orphanage in the early 1990s, I stumbled upon the most beautiful little girl I’d ever seen,” she said. “She had a terrible cleft palate. She had problems with her feet. She had problems with her hands. She had all kinds of problems.

“As only Mother Teresa can, she prevailed upon me to take this baby and another baby to the United States for medical care.”

The Sunday Telegraph (Feb. 3, 2008, Cindy McCain: pills, ills, beer and the White House)

It was on a trip to Bangladesh in 1991 that she adopted Bridget. On Friday she recounted to voters in Missouri and Illinois how Mother Teresa persuaded her to return home with the child. “I just could not let her go. The only thing was, I had not told my husband. When I got back, he asked me ‘Where will she go?’ and I said: ‘I thought she could come to our house.’

Digital Journal (Jun 15, 2008, Can We Trust Cindy McCain to Represent American Women?):

Mrs. McCain has been involved in charity work from clearing landmines, to starting a charity to help children who need facial reconstruction. She has been inspired by her daughter she adopted from Bangladesh who needed extreme care after being born with a cleft palate. The adoption was prompted by Mother Teresa herself who implored Cindy to adopt the little girl. She did so without first consulting John McCain because of her compassion for the girl and her respect for Mother Teresa.

But the most damning evidence of a deliberate attempt to concoct this story comes from cached versions of the McCain campaign website.

Here’s how Cindy’s campaign bio reads on the website as late as November 9, 2004:

As an advocate for children’s health care needs, Cindy H. McCain founded the American Voluntary Medical Team (AVMT) in 1988. The AVMT provided emergency medical and surgical care to impoverished children throughout the world. Cindy led 55 medical missions to third world and war-torn countries during AVMT’s seven years of existence. During one of those missions, on a visit to Mother Teresa’s Orphanage Cindy agreed to bring two babies in need of medical attention back to the United States. One of those babies is now a happy and healthy little girl named Bridget McCain.

Now compare that to the change made on the website on February 3, 2008 — the same day the stories above by The Sunday Mail and The Sunday Telegraph were printed:

As an advocate for children’s health care needs, Cindy founded and ran the American Voluntary Medical Team (AVMT) from 1988 to 1995. AVMT provided emergency medical and surgical care to impoverished children throughout the world. Cindy led 55 medical missions to third world and war-torn countries during AVMT’s seven years of existence. On one of those missions, Mother Teresa convinced Cindy to take two babies in need of medical attention to the United States. One of those babies is now their adopted daughter, 15 year old Bridget McCain.

Notice the obvious change in the one sentence that depicts the circumstances of the adoption.

The instances of the dishonest efforts to create a McCain family portrait are growing. The campaign previously had to scrub its website of Cindy’s family recipes when it was discovered in April that they were largely cut and paste from the Food Network.

At the time, they blamed an intern for the problem. I wonder who they will now blame for Cindy McCain’s own words?

Are these indicative of the McCain family values?

UPDATE: Seems that Rick Warren told Larry King on Monday night that the Mother Teresa story was one of three times during Saturday’s forum that McCain teared-up. They’re liars and actors.

Mark Nickolas is the Managing Editor of Political Base, and this story was from his original post, “The Anatomy of a Deception: How The McCains Changed Their Baby Adoption Story Just Before 2008 Bid

Cindy McCain may reap benefits of Anheuser-Busch takeover bid

Published: 06.13.2008
By Jonathan D. Salant and Kristin Jensen

Cindy McCain, the wife of presumptive Republican nominee John McCain, may see a fortune of at least $8.5 million rise with a proposed takeover of beermaker Anheuser- Busch Co., financial disclosures show.

Cindy McCain owned more than $1 million of Anheuser-Busch shares at the end of last year, according to a Senate disclosure form filed by her husband and released today. News of the $46.3 billion unsolicited bid from InBev NV has sent the company’s shares soaring, up about 17 percent from Dec. 31.

The exact size of the potential windfall is unknown because the financial forms require lawmakers and their spouses to list only ranges for the values of their assets, and one option is to simply say “over $1 million.” Messages left with McCain’s Senate office and campaign weren’t immediately returned.

InBev made the $65-per-share offer for the maker of Budweiser beer on June 11, and Anheuser-Busch said it would consider the bid. A transaction would unite Budweiser, the lager first brewed 132 years ago in St. Louis, with InBev’s Stella Artois, Bass and more than 200 other brands.

Cindy McCain also owns a beer distributorship, Hensley & Co., worth more than $1 million. She reported liabilities of between $2.8 million and $5.5 million, owing money on King Aviation, the private jet company whose planes were used by her husband during the campaign, as well as construction, credit and promissory notes.

John McCain’s only assets were a checking account and money market account, valued at $16,000 to $65,000, two joint checking accounts worth between $2,000 and $30,000, and his Navy pension of $58,358. He received $176,508 in book royalties, which he donated to charity.

Because Arizona Senator McCain is running for president, the U.S. Office of Government Ethics required his wife to liquidate her blind trust because it was set up under Senate rules, not Executive Branch requirements. Among her stock holdings were CBS Corp. and General Electric Co., which own two of the four major television networks, Exxon Mobil Corp., and Goldman Sachs Group. New York Senator Hillary Clinton faced a similar requirement during her presidential campaign.

Cindy McCain last month released two pages of her 2006 tax returns, showing income of $6.1 million, including $4.6 million from real estate. She hasn’t filed her 2007 returns. The McCains keep their finances separate and file separate returns.

McCain, 71, will be taking on presumptive Democratic nominee Barack Obama, 46. Obama, an Illinois senator, also filed a disclosure form that showed he and his wife Michelle had assets of $2 million to $7 million at the end of last year, mostly in bank accounts and mutual funds. One money market account was worth as much as $5 million.

The Obamas, who have two daughters, also bought into two college savings plans in transactions worth between $100,000 and $250,000 each, according to the disclosure form.

With reporting by Lizzie O’Leary, William McQuillen and Julianna Goldman in Washington.

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Obama ad: McCain would help corporations

By The Associated Press
Wed Aug 20, 3:59 PM ET

TITLE: “Three Times”

LENGTH: 30 seconds.

AIRING: Colorado, Michigan, Missouri, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Virginia.

SCRIPT: Announcer: “Can we really afford more of the same? John McCain’s tax plan: For big corporations — $200 billion in new tax breaks. Oil companies — $4 billion. Companies shipping jobs overseas — keep their tax giveaways while 100 million Americans get no tax relief at all. For the change we need, Barack Obama. A plan that cuts taxes for middle-class families three times as much as John McCain would. Barack Obama. President.”

Obama: “I’m Barack Obama and I approve this message.”

KEY IMAGES: A man in his 60s looks gravely at the camera. Clips of McCain at a podium followed by a generic corporate board meeting, image of gas prices rising and an abandoned factory. A man in his 30s looks into the camera. A clip of McCain followed by film of Obama with a factory worker.

ANALYSIS: By airing in eight battleground states, this ad broadens Obama’s anti-McCain message and puts both presidential candidates in an all-out slugfest of critical ads. While Obama is running a positive message about himself during national broadcasts of the Olympics, he’s hammering McCain with economy-centered ads in states that could determine the election in November. The ads suggest that the campaign is seeking to re-establish Obama as a voice for working people after setting domestic issues aside during his widely covered trip to the Middle East and Europe.

McCain does call for a reduction in corporate taxes, from 35 percent now to 25 percent after 2014. But at least one Obama economic adviser has indicated that Obama himself might be open to a lower corporate tax rate — though not as low as McCain has recommended.

In an interview with last month, Jason Furman, Obama’s director of economic policy, said: “He would like to cut the corporate tax rate, and it’s a question that we’re studying.” In June, Obama also told The Wall Street Journal he might support a cut in corporate taxes. Still, Obama’s economic plan aims the largest cuts toward lower-income taxpayers while McCain would give the largest tax cuts to high-income taxpayers.

The $4 billion in tax breaks for the oil companies is simply part of McCain’s overall corporate tax reduction plan and does not represent an additional tax benefit. In other words, the corporate tax reduction applies to all corporations, oil companies included. Both Obama and McCain have proposed eliminating oil and gas tax loopholes.

The Tax Policy Center, a think tank run jointly by the Brookings Institution and the Urban Institute, concluded that under Obama’s plan middle-income taxpayers would see their after-tax income rise by about 5 percent by 2012, or nearly $2,200 annually. “Those in the top 1 percent would face a $19,000, or 1.5 percent, reduction in after-tax income,” the center concluded in an analysis issued this week.

“McCain would lift after-tax incomes an average of about 3 percent, or $1,400 annually, for middle-income taxpayers by 2012,” the center said. “But, in sharp contrast to Obama, he would cut taxes for those in the top 1 percent by more than $125,000, raising their after-tax income an average 9.5 percent.”

Analysis by Associated Press Writer Jim Kuhnhenn