The Private Wealth Behind McCain's Public Life
Liquor fortune behind the McCains remains largely out of the public eye
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 23, 2008 7:13 AM CDT
Cindy Hensley McCain, seen here in a 2007 file photo, inherited a huge fortune built by her beer baron and racetrack owner father Jim Hensley.   (AP Photo/Matt Sayles)
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(Newser) – John McCain is one of the wealthiest men in the Senate, but the McCain fortune is less open to scrutiny than that of most lawmakers, the New York Times reports, since the vast bulk of it remains solely in the name of wife Cindy. She has a controlling stake in the privately held beer distribution company inherited from her father, which nets her an estimated $5 million a year, and her investments carry few disclosure requirements.

Still, it was the liquor fortune built by McCain's father-in-law which propelled his entry into politics shortly after he married Cindy and took a job with the family firm. The Times scrutinizes Cindy's role at Hensley & Company, and her relationship to the colorful father who left it to her, though she has never played an active role there. The number of homes she owns is 10, the paper notes, including rental properties.