Republican presidential candidate Steve Forbes is wealthy and healthy -- according to information released by his campaign yesterday.

While Forbes has refused to release his tax returns, the campaign released a summary of those returns for the past three years showing, among other things, that he paid $837,555 on about $2.5 million in adjusted gross income (including interest and dividends) for 1998. A total of $664,000 was federal income tax, and the income figure only partially reflects Forbes's wealth, most of which is wrapped up in stocks, bonds, land and other investments.

Forbes, the head of a family publishing dynasty who has used his personal wealth to fund much of his two presidential campaigns, claimed $759,067 in itemized deductions in 1998, up from $589,087 in 1996. His income also rose from $1.5 million during that period.

Forbes claimed about $500,000 for charitable deductions over the three-year period.

A one-page letter from Keith D. Linder, a doctor at the Minnesota's Mayo Clinic, where Forbes, 52, has undergone medical examinations since 1995, said the candidate was in "excellent health."

Forbes has taken medication for several years for a "mild elevation" of cholesterol in his blood, Linder said, adding that as of the candidate's last visit on March 1, he "has no specific medical concerns."

Forbes has occasionally taken a topical antibiotic for a skin condition called rosacea, a form of dermatitis that causes a rosy coloration and acne on the face, Linder said.

Bush Team Looks for Banner Response on Web

Presidential candidate George W. Bush has gone interactive.

The Bush campaign has begun running banner ads that appear on the Web pages of America Online customers. The ads include links to Bush's Web site and focus on issues that Bush discusses on the campaign trail, said media adviser Matthew Dowd. For instance, one ad reads: "How much will the Bush tax cut save you?" Viewers can click on the banner and calculate their own savings under Bush's tax cut proposal.

Although many political consultants believe the Internet's full potential as a political medium is still years from being realized, that hasn't stopped a handful of candidates from experimenting with it. Banner ads can target demographic groups with a far greater degree of specificity than television or radio ads.

Dowd, declining to be more specific, said Bush's ads are targeting "people who have a tendency to vote in Republican primaries." He would not say how much money the campaign was spending on the ads.

Rival Steve Forbes has been among the most aggressive candidates using banner ads, running them intermittently since March. "I'm not sure banner advertising is proving to be a particularly effective tool in either the commercial or the political world," said Rick Segal, Forbes's Internet strategy adviser. Nonetheless, he added, the campaign will continue with the strategy on a limited basis.