April 21, 2008

John McCain Discloses Data on His Charity Giving

Sen. John McCain, the Republican presidential candidate, has released his tax returns for the past two years, including details about the money he donated to charitable causes.

In 2007, the Arizona senator reported $405,409 in total income and contributed $105,467, or 26 percent of his total income, to charity.

In 2006, Mr. McCain said he had $358,414 in total income and donated $64,695, or 18 percent of his total income, to charity.

The tax returns were filed solely by Mr. McCain. His wife, Cindy McCain, an heir to a beer distribution company in Phoenix who has reported wealth of $100-million, files a separate return each year and does not plan to release her tax returns.

A statement from Mr. McCain’s campaign said that most of the senator’s charitable contributions were made to the John and Cindy McCain Family Foundation, which makes direct contributions to charities.

The senator and Mrs. McCain each make gifts to their foundation, which is focused on helping organizations that work “for the spiritual, educational, and medical needs of the community.”

Mrs. McCain has donated the same amount to charity as her husband — a total of $170,162 for each of them — over the past two years, his campaign said.

The private foundation’s informational tax returns are available on the campaign’s Web site.

On its Web site, the campaign posted a list of the organizations that have received gifts from the McCain family foundation in the past two years.

In 2007, the foundation provided a total of $78,250 to charities, including $25,000 to Operation Smile, which repairs facial abnormalities in children and young people, and $25,000 to the Halo Trust, which removes debris left behind after wars, especially land mines.

In 2006, recipients of the foundation’s $187,639 in total gifts included Brophy College Preparatory school, in Phoenix, $50,500; and Christ Lutheran School, in Phoenix, $42,639.

Mr. McCain’s campaign said he donates his royalties from his books to charities and that “this sum has totaled over $1,800,000 since 1998 when he signed his first book deal.” The campaign said his book income added up to $256,898 for 2006 and 2007.

The senator’s campaign also said that Mr. McCain has donated to charity a total of $450,000 since 1991— money he received from increases in his Senate salary — “because he opposed the Congressional pay increase at that time and pledged not to accept the pay raises.”