The Sugar Momma Express

So, apparently, in addition to riding around on the Straight Talk for Lobbyists Express, John McCain has also been flying around the Sugar Momma Express.

Given Senator John McCain’s signature stance on campaign finance reform, it was not surprising that he backed legislation last year requiring presidential candidates to pay the actual cost of flying on corporate jets. The law, which requires campaigns to pay charter rates when using such jets rather than cheaper first-class fares, was intended to reduce the influence of lobbyists and create a level financial playing field.

But over a seven-month period beginning last summer, Mr. McCain’s cash-short campaign gave itself an advantage by using a corporate jet owned by a company headed by his wife, Cindy McCain, according to public records. For five of those months, the plane was used almost exclusively for campaign-related purposes, those records show.

Mr. McCain’s campaign paid a total of $241,149 for the use of that plane from last August through February, records show. That amount is approximately the cost of chartering a similar jet for a month or two, according to industry estimates.

Nice. John McCain is flying around in his Sugar Momma Express to make speeches to struggling working Americans in which he tells them the economic woes of this country are all psychological–all in their head. In fact, when he likened carrying his own suitcase to the economic struggles of Youngstown, Ohio, what he really meant was that he had to carry his own suitcase … from his Sugar Momma Express.

In any case, this further solidifies the importance of allowing us to see Cindy McCain’s tax returns. These subsidized plane flights were actually provided by Hensley & Company.

It is owned by Hensley & Company, through a holding company, King Aviation. Mrs. McCain is the chairwoman of Hensley, which is one of the country’s biggest distributors of Anheuser-Busch products. Hensley was founded by Mrs. McCain’s father, James Hensley, and her uncle.

It was her late father’s fortune, which also includes real estate, that helped start Mr. McCain’s political career. King Aviation is listed on Mr. McCain’s Senate disclosure forms as one of his wife’s assets.

If Hensley & Company subsidized those flights as a corporation, then McCain owes a whole bundle more in reimbursement. If Hensely & Company subsidized those flights because Cindy is John’s Sugar Momma, then that means you cannot separate her finances from his.

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5 replies
  1. radiofreewill says:

    Cindy’s jet, Vicki’s jet…any jet will do for The Misogynist Hypocrite Express.

    Take their jets, take their money, call them names…and keep them psychologically dependent – in the “one-down” power position compared to his never-to-be-contested “one-up” position.

    A victory for McCane is a Loss for Women, unless you consider Cindy a Role Model for “Getting What You Want” by “Getting Treated Like Shit.”

    Goopers keep their women submissive and compliant, and Cindy isn’t going to change a thing about it, either.

    She’s not equal to the task, only useful, like Vicki…

  2. PJEvans says:

    Sounds like we should make it really clear there will be investigations, because he’s cheating again.

  3. earlofhuntingdon says:

    If the law requires St. John or his campaign to pay the air charter-equivalent cost for the use of such aircraft — which more closely approximates a candidate’s use of the aircraft better than does the deemed purchase of individual first-class seats from a common carrier — McCain’s breaking this law, too. If Cindy controls the company that charters the aircraft to him, she’s aiding and abetting that lawbreaking.

    Cindy isn’t her company. The two are separate legal persons. She can authorize the company to charter the aircraft to her husband. She can transfer assets to her husband freely, or contribute to his campaign. But only within the rules. That’s where McCain shows he’s not just Bush, he’s a sloppier version of him.

    If providing the aircraft to McCain’s campaign is not in furtherance of the company’s business, the company should be reimbursed it’s out-of-pocket costs for the non-business use of a company asset. That’s the equivalent charter cost for the aircraft alone, the cost of fuel, the pilots, landing fees, servicing, etc.

    If the company doesn’t charge the correct price for it, it’s making and McCain’s receiving a gift. Is it a gift from the company to McCain or to his campaign? A gift from Cindy to St. John or to his campaign? Mechanically that gets complicated and can easily run afoul of legal, tax or accounting rules.

    The transactions could be anywhere from two or four-way: from company to McCain campaign, to Cindy to John, via Cindy to company and company to campaign, etc. The “thing” can be done with a phone call from Cindy. But correctly identifying the steps, documenting them properly, doing the correct legal, tax and accounting bookkeeping is a pain. I doubt everybody’s kept up with it, but that a few grunts are working overtime this weekend to clean up the paperwork. But until that’s done and reimbursements are made, it’s a liability, possibly a liability that after the fact clean up may not avoid.

    The bottom line is that St. John is as arrogant as Bush, with as few scruples about freely using other people’s money. The rules be damned. He isn’t promising four more years. He’s promising us four more years of Bush on steroids and little blue pills.

  4. radiofreewill says:

    I should clarify what “Getting Treated Like Shit” looks like to me – I don’t want to be offensive in making an observation for others to consider.

    wavpeac, and others, can speak to this issue far more eloquently than I, however it seems more than overdue to me that Women should, collectively, take a deep breath and stand Equal with their Men, Partners, Brothers, Fathers, Friends…

    What would have been the Benefit to John McCain if Cindy could have had a ’straight’ talk with him about ‘what I see?’ Talk received with respect as one ‘equal in aliveness’ to the Life they’re sharing together?

    Had he given her his ear and really listened, he might have heard her telling him that His Commitment to the Bush/McCain Agenda was Separating Away from the Reality of the Facts – a bad business move, I’m sure, from a pragmatic Hensley mind – and that he was moving down a trajectory of action dictated by the Illogic of a Black/White, Good/Evil Ideology that Needed Propaganda to Hide the Truth…and was in Danger of Going Off a Cliff in Iran, as if There Was No Tomorrow…

    “But, Mav, what if Clearer Heads Prevail, and We drive through the Danger Zone, and Tomorrow comes?”

    “WHAT! Do as I say (not as I do)! What I say goes! And no more back-talk, either!”

    Nothing says “You’re in the One-Down position” quite like His Power Stepping on Your Reason, Love and Self-Esteem…not to mention Your Money, Mansions and Jet, too!

    We need better Role Models – from Women, and Men – if the Age of Community is going to steer US away from the Cliff of Blind Ego Power fullfillment.

  5. Neil says:

    Hensley & Company shareholders have a legitimate issue with regard to Cindy McCain’s authorization to charge the John McCain Campaign discount rates for charter air travel; FEC has a legitimate issue with John McCain accepting the discount travel rate that is in effect a corporate campaign contribution; and voters have a legitimate concern about John McCain’s use of assets to which he has access, whether by title or personal relationship. Is John McCain another Republican candidate to whom the law does not apply? As a voter and taxpayer, I would appreciate McCain using family assets, or campaign assets, or corporate assets and accounting for them as what they are, campaign contributions, rather than taking advantage of a privilege without consideration for accountability.

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