September 6th, 2008
11:00 AM ET
6 years ago

Alaska state jet didn't fly on eBay

Since being named as Sen. McCain's running mate, Gov. Palin has mentioned several times that she put a government plane up for sale on EBay -- including during her speech before the GOP convention.
Since being named as Sen. McCain's running mate, Gov. Palin has mentioned several times that she put a government plane up for sale on EBay - including during her speech before the GOP convention.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (CNN) - Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin bolstered her fiscal-conservative credentials early in her term by putting her predecessor's state jet up for auction online.

"That luxury jet was over the top," she told Republican National Convention delegates when she accepted the party's vice presidential nomination Wednesday night. "I put it on eBay."

Since Palin was chosen as Arizona Sen. John McCain's running mate last week, the story has become a cornerstone of the Republican effort to paint Palin as a reformer who took on her own party establishment.

"How many saw her speech a couple of nights ago? Wasn't it fabulous?" McCain said Friday during a campaign stop in Cedarburg, Wisconsin. "You know what I enjoyed the most? She took the luxury jet that was purchased by her predecessor and sold it on eBay - and made a profit."

But it turns out the twin-engine Westwind II was a tough sell on the Web - and the state eventually pulled it offline and sold it through an ordinary brick-and-mortar brokerage, for a loss, a spokeswoman said Friday.

"Governor Palin has been correct in saying that she put the plane on eBay," McCain campaign spokeswoman Maria Comella told CNN. "They did end up selling it for $2.1 million. But not on eBay."

Palin's predecessor, Frank Murkowski, bought the jet for $2.7 million in 2005. The following year, Palin unseated Murkowski in the state's Republican primary and became governor: Upon taking office, she wanted to unload what former aide Meg Stapleton called "a symbol of corruption."

Stapleton told CNN that Murkowski paid too much for the jet, and that it was costing taxpayers money just sitting in the hangar.

"Eventually you had to concede and say, 'How often are we going to pay these bills and waste more state dollars?' " she said.

When putting it on eBay failed, aircraft broker Rob Heckmann was called in to sell the jet. Businessman Larry Reynolds bought the five-passenger jet for sold for $2.1 million. And Reynolds is now seeking another $50,000 from the state for unexpected maintenance issues with the aircraft.

–CNN's Sara Lane contributed to this report


Filed under: Popular Posts • Sarah Palin
soundoff (340 Responses)
  1. citizenABC

    McCain – Pain ticket.

    oops, Freudian slip!

    September 5, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  2. Alex

    Sarah

    Obama has been a Senator in Illinois for 8 years and US Senator since 2005

    September 5, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  3. fd

    george, it is admirable to get rid of excess. But why lie about it? That's not liberal spin.

    September 5, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  4. carol, NC

    Willcnnapprovethis it was on tv again today McCain told the same story. They both lied. Look at the news they are even slowing down the sound bite for people to hear then they laugh. LOL they both lied

    September 5, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  5. Joe

    Some people only hear what they want to. She said that the plane was put on eBay, she never said anything about it selling. And since it was in fact put on eBay then there is no "half truth" about it!

    September 5, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  6. Fort Collins,Colorado

    Sarah...inform yourself....you need to check out factcheck.org. Then make comments.

    September 5, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  7. Beth Maroney

    Palin said she "put it on Ebay" McCain, the head of the ticket lied and said she "sold it on Ebay" OH that would be because he just met her and hasn't had a chance to get to know her to know what happened to the stupid JET!!

    September 5, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  8. Marie, Ft. Lauderdale, FL

    I used to think Campbell Brown was just a pretty face. The Reps are playing the refs. Campbell went toe-to-toe with Bay Buchanan and Tucker Bounds and didn't back down. You go girl!

    September 5, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  9. MC

    I felt like she was a liar. And, my God she is!!! She needs to go home and take care of her 5 children. I can't believe she wants to run for VP and she has a 4-5mo old special needs child.

    I think, right now her 17 year old pregnant daughter and her infant son need her now more than ever.... Palin go home and take of your kids!

    OBAMA 08

    September 5, 2008 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  10. Mad Black Woman

    Tyhrone look who is talking about half lying. She Put It on Ebay. That is true.

    September 5, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  11. Sarah

    She didn't say she sold it on Ebay; you're right. She said she PUT it on Ebay.

    It's the GUY WHO IS RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT who lied about it:

    "You know what I enjoyed the most? She took the luxury jet that was purchased by her predecessor and sold it on eBay — and made a profit."

    That was earlier today.

    September 5, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  12. Democrat turned Republican

    Will the media just STOP with the vetting of this governor over things that ARE NOT IMPORTANT TO THIS ELECTION!!! Are you stooping that low because she has overtaken Obama (who really is 'HISTORY" now); and you are feeling a little upset about that–so much so that you feel compelled to pick apart every little detail about EVERYTHING that Governor Palin has said??? GET OVER YOURSELVES AND START CONCENTRATING ON THE IMPORTANT STUFF THAT ACTUALLY MATTERS IN THIS ELECTION!! ENOUGH ALREADY–DO YOU THINK WE ARE THAT STUPID THAT WE WOULD EVEN CARE THAT SHE LISTED HER AIRPLANE ON E-BAY AND THEN ENDED UP SELLING IT ELSEWHERE??? The FACT that she had the good sense TO GET RID OF THE AIRPLANE is what matters here–THAT IS THE STORY LINE–DO WE HAVE TO TELL YOU HOW TO BE JOURNALISTS????.

    September 5, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  13. Tanya

    So McCain told yet another lie to the American people – when are the media going to start holding the McCain/Palin ticket accountable for the many lies they have been telling to the American people?

    September 5, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  14. Wendy in NC

    Oh by the way, every man, woman and child in Alaska will be getting a dividend check (oil profit investments) of $3200+ next month, so I hardly think Alaska is drowning in debt. They don't have a state income tax, they give residents money each year.

    September 5, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
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