[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/15/cindy1.jpg caption=" Cindy McCain pushed to get cell coverage at the McCain ranch in Sedona."]
WASHINGTON (CNN) - John McCain’s campaign is blasting a Washington Post report that the Arizona senator’s Sedona ranch got cell phone coverage this summer after a request from staffers for his wife Cindy.
The paper also reported the Republican nominee’s wife offered Verizon land for a permanent cell phone tower, which would benefit few besides the McCains, and that the company had then begun the expensive process to meet that request. Verizon abandoned the effort after the Post filed a request for Arizona records in Auugust.
McCain is a senior member and former chair of the Commerce Committee, which oversees the telecommunications industry.
The McCain campaign defended the request. "Mrs. McCain, like many Americans in rural locations, was interested in receiving cell service, and there was none in the vicinity of their cabin," McCain spokesman Brian Rogers told the paper in the story, which appeared on its Web site Wednesday.
"Mrs. McCain's staff went through the Website as any member of the general public would - no string pulling, no phone calls, no involvement of Senate staff. because she is married to a senator doesn't mean she forfeits her right to ask for cell service as any other Verizon customer can.
"The McCains went through the process that is available to anybody who subscribes to one of these cell phone companies to inquire about getting service."