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. Dave

    She never said she SOLD it on ebay. She said she PUT it on Ebay. McCain misquoted her.

    Just the fact she sold the luxury jet shows that she is determined to fight corruption.

    September 5, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  2. Octavio Raygoza

    So, what happened with the $2.1 million??
    If she would have donated it or returned to the state, somebody would
    have mentioned it already.

    Does someone know what she did with the money???

    September 5, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  3. GOP Talk

    They make up stuff, then throw in Guns, abortion and Religon at the end of the sentence, so people will say Yeah, Yeah, Yeah. Empty house, no furniture, perpetrators. Funny thing is...damage done, people will believe this woman sold a plane on Ebay for life. Let's not forget that the x-executive chair is McCain's dear friend, one he would ask for advice on how to run the country.

    September 5, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  4. anyonmous

    mccain lost to bush and now he lost to obama because mccain is not bush he is worse than bush even bush didnt lost two elections in a row

    September 5, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  5. KC- INDEPENDENT VOTER IN MICHIGAN

    IM ALL FOR FAIR REPORTING BUT WATCHING CAMPBELL BROWN ON CNN JUST SHOWS SHE IS NOT A BALANCED REPORTER AT ALL. ITS OBVIOUS HER POLITCAL SIDE IN HER QUESTIONING AND COMMENTS OF HER GUEST. PEOPLE COMPLAIN ABOUT FOX NEWS BEING TOO BIASED JUST WATCH CAMPBELL BROWN AND YOU WILL GET THE SAME BIASED REPORTING. IM A INDEPENDENT AND JUST SEEING AND LISTENING TO CABLE NEWS MAKES ME SICK. MONICA, GETS YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT ON SOMEONE BEFORE YOU ACCUSE PEOPLE OF LYING. SHE DID PUT THE PLANE ON EBAY BUT IT DID NOT SELL. ALL SHE SAID WAS SHE PUT THE PLANE ON EBAY, GET YOUR FACTS STRAIGHT BEFORE YOU POST SOMETHING.DOES THAT MAKE HER A LIAR? I WOULD SAY YOU ARE A LIAR FOR POSTING SOMETHING THAT IS NOT TRUE.

    September 5, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  6. philip

    Monica from Indiana...Only an idiot like yourself would look at the article with only reading what you want to read which was "no she didn't sell it to e-bay". IF you looked at the article with the general idea that cnn didn't want you to see is that she did put it on e-bay, so that makes her statement that she put it on ebay true. Next, was the idea that there she showed her fiscal conservatism by actually selling the jet-plane when no bidder wanted it in ebay. So the ideology,or her main point, is that she did figure out away to get rid of unnecessary luxuries in the governors mansion. That was her whole point about that ebay remark. But again neo-liberal facist pigs like yourself wouldn't understand the whole point of what Palin was trying to make. You been drinking to much obama koolaid.

    thanks

    September 5, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  7. Cam

    I'm glad the media is starting to report on the outright lies, fabrications, and exaggerations that Palin is including in her one speech (on another note, do they really have to give exactly the same speech every time???) There are some serious questions about the way this woman is presenting herself and her record, and I think these "small lies" as a Governer would only mean larger ones as VP or President. I don't think we should trust someone who would so obviously lie about easily verified facts and then refuse to give any media interviews.

    Today Palin criticized Obama for his views on the surge, but did she even know there was a surge going on before last week? Having her attack on issues that she admittedly knows nothing about doesn't make her look like a pit bull, it makes her look like a fool and a hypocrite of the highest order.

    September 5, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  8. The Lady

    Palin you are nothing but trouble and I am waiting for the moment it all cathces up with you. You will have nothing but drama in the White house.

    September 5, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  9. scooter

    give me a break , at least she got rid of it most likely sold it to Obummer.

    September 5, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  10. KM

    It's really not a lie unless you get caught. So everyone repeat after me; LIAR, LIAR, Pants on Fire.

    September 5, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  11. CNN_Shame on You!

    CNN's Campbell Brown – SHAME ON YOU! You couldn't stand Hillary,
    in meantime, you can't stand Sarah Palin! You have a real problem with a smart, bright women, You are not a professional journalist.. Your acting like a Dumb GOOS... I've lost my respect to you and to your Chanel!

    September 5, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  12. Paris

    She never said she sold it on e-bay, she said she put it on e-bay.
    Which she did.

    Monica pay attention.

    September 5, 2008 08:16 pm at 8:16 pm |
  13. Marc

    Well, I'm just shocked that the McCain campaign would lie about Palin's wealth of experience – so now we've got the plane on EBay that didn't sell, the Bridge to Nowhere (by the way, what politician would EVER call part of the state where they're running for election "Nowhere"?), and all the earmarks that she just HATED to hire a lobbying firm to acquire $27 million of.

    Of course we have no idea what the woman actually thinks or knows since she's only read prepared speeches and refuses to sit for unscripted interviews or press conferences. Yeah, this is someone I'd feel safe being a 72-year-old heartbeat away from the Presidency.

    September 5, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  14. Frank

    But it sounded like she was so kwel in her hip speech,she is so out of touch it's not even funny.

    September 5, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  15. Karla

    CNN, I am done with you.

    I watched all of you tear Hillary to pieces during the primaries, and now praise her for going out on the stump for Obama. Next in line for you....Sarah Palin.

    I am a 37 year old, registered democrat, and devout Hillary Clinton supporter. I like Sarah... but, her values are on the complete opposite spectrum from mine. I cannot vote for the McCain/Palin ticket. But I do feel the need to support Palin because your network just KEEPS trying to bring her down...that resonates with me because I saw you do it to Hillary.

    I have tried to put posts up here in your comment section in defense of Palin for the past week, and how many have posted??

    ZERO....!!!!!!

    I am switching tv stations, and FINALLY forcing myself to stay off of your website.

    CNN = put Obama in office at all costs!!!

    September 5, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  16. Ken

    It's not enough to go in front of the whole world and give a good speech. It would really help if what you say is not a lie.

    Pailin lied out her kazoo. Lied about the jet. Lied about Democrats raising taxes on 80 percent of the people, lied about her experiences, lied about Obama.....

    Impressive.

    September 5, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  17. the patriot

    MAYBE SHE HATE AIRPLANE BUT IF ALASKA HAD PLENTY OF MONEY FROM OIL, THEN THE PLANE WILL FLY FOR FREE AND PAY FOR ITSELF, I AM FROM FLORIDA AND I REMEMBER SEEING A STATE OF FLORIDA KING AIR TURBO PROP THAT WAS USED OR IS USED TO MOVE THE GOBERNOR AROUND THE STATE, AND WE DO NOT HAVE OIL WELL.

    September 5, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  18. Sheri

    She is a LIAR, more is coming out about her.
    It's OVER!!!

    September 5, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  19. Benoist

    Saying you put the plane on eBay is more "hip" than just saying "I sold it back to my predecessor". It's all about the spin.

    Nothing surprising here.

    Now, about those real issues affecting real people in the real world... what are the specifics again?...

    September 5, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  20. Donna

    Please see this for what it is–an attempt to create an impression that the McCain campaign thinks will be persuasive. It is not based in fact–and they seem unconcerned when their exaggerations and inaccuracies are discovered.

    September 5, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  21. MM

    This is a fundamental issue on how honest these folks are. McCain claimed very proudly about this in WI today. Exactly same as Bush lied about Iraq and got the country in deep hole. McCainBushCheneyPalin are all divisive partisan smear attackers politicians. This election has really high stakes and I dearly pray that this time Americans get it right.

    September 5, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  22. McCain=Bush, 8 is enough

    Half-truths, and lies uh? I can't believe people are truly serious about voting for mccain and putting sarah a heartbeat away from the presidency, we just met her about 8 days ago, and now she could potentially be our president !!

    This is like going on a blind date and marrying the person 8 days later. We know nothing about her, this is not even rational. Her speeech just proves she can read what someone else prepared for her. She has not been interviewed, like every one has, over, and over, and over again.

    Obama, and Hillary, and Mccain have campaigned for almost two years and we know these people. They have earned the right, they have paid their dues

    September 5, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  23. Cam

    I also liked McCain talking about opposing earmarks when the biggest earmark handout case was standing right next to him!

    September 5, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  24. Fred

    How is it Sarah Palin has been featured on the front page of CNN, more than Joe Biden?

    September 5, 2008 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  25. s

    Monica for Obama in Indiana, don't forget EVERYTHING she said at the RNC was also a lie. We can't afford another bunch of liars in the white house. people wake up and vote for change and a better future.

    Obama/Biden '08

    September 5, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
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