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

Alaska state jet didn't fly on eBay

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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. David

    She implied that she sold it on e-bay. You thought she sold it on e-bay also, don"t lie.Dmitriy

    September 5, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  2. Dee Dee Lynn

    Perhaps not, Dmitriy, but she did not say she did not sell it either, and the implication of "I put it on ebay" is that it sold. Moreover, McCain DID say she put it on ebay and sold it for a profit. Out and out lie.

    September 5, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  3. Craig A Texas Democrat

    I hope they investigate her abuse of power back in Alaska.

    September 5, 2008 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  4. FreeNLovIt

    My heart belongs to Hillary. First and foremost, Palin is likeable, but how is she going to put food on my table? I need to know how the beauty queen is going to jumpstart the economy?

    September 5, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  5. Krnq

    Here's a notion... we'll discuss "Ebay-gate" if we also get to talk about Rezko, Ayres, Wright, etc.

    September 5, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  6. MK

    Dmitriy....McCain said she sold it on eBay and he said she made a profit on it. Where did he hear the lies? From the vetter? From Palin herself? The GOP is full of liars! Palin cannot be made available to reporters until she learns the "party line", she is the perfect mouthpiece for them, shallow, and eager to gain this power so she will comply. She insults working women everywhere, hell she insults women everywhere. Face it, the GOP will lose....

    September 5, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  7. Barack Supporter

    Just what we need in DC....another Bush/Cheney duo (with Cheney in drag) processing and packaging the facts to have them mean anything they want them mean. Remember, folks, when we called them lies, fibs, untruths and playing fast and easy with America's trust.

    September 5, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  8. Sue

    Speaking of planes .... why isn't the McCain/Palin plane American built?? E190 (Embraer 190, built in Brazil)

    September 5, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  9. john driscoll

    moderation, that's code for we have no room for opposing views or the truth if it does not meet our needs!

    September 5, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  10. Alfred Black

    The follow-up questions I have are: Did Gov Palin have any personal or business or political contacts with the brokerage that was used; or with the eventual purchaser of the plane - who purchased it, after all, for a 'loss'?

    September 5, 2008 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  11. Greg FL.

    Tell the truth much Sarah and John? I guess not.

    September 5, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  12. georgia

    great start way to go
    obama biden 08

    September 5, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  13. Shannon

    why do Obama supporters hate women!

    September 5, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  14. Thomas

    When has Sarah Palin provided the "whole" truth. Everything thing that comes from her is suspect. Truthfully America, and I really hate to say this....This is about race. Sarah Palin has been allowed to get away with things that Obama would have been crushed for. We haven't seen her "church" youtube where she claims that this God's war blasted across the media. We haven't seen Bristol underaged drinking. No one is questioning her flip-flop on the Bridge issue...nothing!!!! I must say that I saw something at the DNC. I saw people from all cultures, races, and back grounds gathered togther because they have hope. I pray that America doesn't let race stand in our way to unity. To use McCain's words (and from the Constitution) .... Stand up America! Stand up for what is right! We hold these truths to be self evident that all men and women are created equal. Palin/McCain are banking their campaign on fear, lies, psychological calculations, politics, controversy, selective speaking, double standards, and on and on. They are hypocrits!
    The ebay issue, bridge, lack of parental control (yes this is an issue), troopergate, pork barrels, etc, etc are really not issues. The issue is: What will you do! The only time that evil prevails is when good people do nothing (Edmund Burke)! Again, stand up good people! Do what is right! Vot e Obama/Biden!!!!!!

    September 5, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  15. Hmmm

    Oh the smug-ness of it all.. Can we really deal with four years of another severely incompetent administration that attempts to hide it with lies, half-truths, and denial???

    September 5, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  16. Paul

    You liberals can twist any thing you want. Real people aren't buying your elites media coverage sorry!

    September 5, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  17. David R in Carlsbad

    A bold face liar. Certainly has a ring of familiarity, Bush/McCain/Cheney/Palin. Birds of a feather flock together.

    Don't forget the bridge is a lie also. PALIN KEPT THE $400 MILLION. Never gave it back to the federal government.

    September 5, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  18. Joe Thompson

    How can the news comentators be so silent about lies and liers who would broadcast them to 40 million people in a televised convention?

    When will the truth be broadcast by CNN? Please advise me so I caan tune in.

    September 5, 2008 08:46 pm at 8:46 pm |
  19. Chris Durham North Carolina

    McCain said she sold it...and she didn't bother to correct it!!! She's a liar and she lied about the "Bridge to nowhere" as well!! And she has questionable ethics!!! WAKE UP AMERICA!!!!!

    September 5, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  20. carol, NC

    she is telling lies already and havent even go her toe yet. That is a Repub for ya. They even lie behind each other. McCain told the same story today. LO>

    September 5, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  21. Willcnnapprovethis?

    Dmitriy September 5th, 2008 8:33 pm ET

    She said she put it on e-bay. She didn't say she sold it on e-bay.

    You are playing apples and oranges she implied by saying she "put" it on ebay that she sold it.

    like most republicans, she has issues with the truth. Mccain also said she "sold it" on ebay meaning he definitely lied.

    September 5, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  22. whose change?

    The pattern emerging of Sarah isn't one of a reformer - just a "reformer wannabe", a typical republican who lies, twists the truth and spins with a very straight face. But guess what? These slimeballs still manage to fool most of the people most of the time, stay in power and collectively destroy USA! I cannot believe that there are still many Americans resisting to smell the coffee. This is a female Cheney in the making. McCain and repubs have clearly indicated Sarah's experience is superior to both McCain or Obama. Meaning she is the most she's most "qualified", just like Cheney. I am a working mother... for those who want to bully the rest of us with sexism accusations every time we open our mouth about Palin.

    September 5, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  23. Odie

    Exactly, she stated she put it on ebay, which she did. Regardless, she still help rid Alaska of unneccesary costs. Maybe Pelosi can learn something here instead of complaining her plane isn't big enough.

    September 5, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  24. Both are Liars

    Both of them are liars. She lied about fighting earmarks and the Bridge to Nowhere. Thanks but no thanks, by the way I'll be keeping that $200 million that was meant for the bridge. John McCain lied about selling the jet at a profit, it was sold at a loss of $600k plus they probably paid the broker for the service.

    September 5, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  25. george

    OH NOES!! she didn't physically SELL the wasteful jet expenditure on ebay!!! evil profiteering republicans!!! mcsame mcbush mcsurge!!!
    only an obama liberal could spin this into a story.

    she took a wasteful taxpayer expenditure and tried to get rid of it, and eventually did. nothing she said was wrong at all. only an obamabot could try to work this into something negative, because to them, wasteful expenditure is ok as long as their celebritard messiah gets coronated.

    September 5, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
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