Booze dealer Cindy McCain
As reported by the Los Angeles Times on June 23, 2008, Cindy McCain's booze-dealing Hensley Co. opposed public safety groups such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) in fighting proposed federal rules that would require alcohol-content information on every package of beer, wine and liquor.
To advance their cause, Hensley executives, including John McCain's son, Andrew, have written at least 10 letters to the Treasury Department and contributed tens of thousands of dollars to alcohol industry lobbyists.
A member of the powerful National Beer Wholesalers Association, Cindy's company has run afoul of health-advocacy groups that have tried to rein in appeals to young drinkers.
Hensley, for example, distributes fruit-flavored alcohol drinks [nicknamed "alcopops"] that public-health groups say put young and underage consumers at risk by disguising the effects of intoxication.
Cindy McCain is chairwoman of Hensley and controls 68 percent of the privately-held company stock, along with her children and the senator's son from his first marriage. The family keeps their finances separate, and John McCain claims to have no interest or role in Hensley. According to the L.A. Times, should he become president and his wife retains
her ownership in Hensley, she would set a precedent for outside corporate activity by a first lady.
After the Hensley article came out, the McCain campaign team issued a terse statement saying, "Any decisions going forward will be made when the senator wins the election and takes office, but not before."
Political analysts said they were astounded that McCain has not addressed the issue. "You can't run a beer company out of the White House," commented Samuel Popkin, a political-science professor at the University of California in San Diego. "McCain is leaving a live hand grenade on the table -- a major embarrassment [for his future administration]."
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