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. citizenABC

    Palin is quite a multi-tasker.

    Here is a partial list of "Sarah's 60 Day Laundry List":
    – Meet Washington leaders.
    – Visit Washington DC and lower 48 states.
    – Plan and shop for baby shower.
    – Schedule and be updated on lil' Trig's 6 month check-up
    – Meet or coordinate with special needs team for Trig
    – Throw bridal shower and shop for Mother-of-the-Bride dress
    – Meet world leaders
    – Meet Piper's teacher and attend open house curriculm night
    – Not neglect Willow.
    – Learn about the diversified culture of the lower 48 states.
    – Spend time with husband.
    – Get to know John McCain.
    – Give send-off to Track as he heads to Iraq.
    – Post garage sale items on e-bay.

    September 5, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  2. Joe, from NY

    McSame = "country first?"

    On his new VP pick: The campaign will make her available to press when and if it feels it is in the campaign's best interest.

    Why you ask? Because she CANNOT EXPLAIN away the scandals, lies, and hypocritical decisions she had made while up there in the Alaska Tundra.

    This woman will be a heartbeat away from the Presidency. "Country first" = vet her...PUBLICLY....PLEASE!

    September 5, 2008 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  3. Santana-California

    Guess what! Palin won't talk to the press, she is being protected by the Republicans, they don't know her enough to let her go. Because she has no experience, and the Republicans are being careful she doesn't mess them up. I think McCain is a dirty old man, he saw another beauty queen, he picked her, in other words, he just bought the package, but didn't open it. He gets what he deserves!

    Obama/Biden 08!

    September 5, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  4. lee

    Tsk tsk. Leading America to believe she successfully sold it on Ebay, yet didn't. There is nothing genuine about this woman. She will be a fake Veep, too.

    September 5, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |

    A lie and at a loss. I'm sure they wouldn't do the same with the economy....right.


    September 5, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  6. Linda from AZ

    No surprise in this just another mislead.

    September 5, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  7. Lone Star Wolf

    If I was you OBAMA people I would not call anyone a liar when you have the biggest one working for you.

    September 5, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  8. Melanie, MD

    True Dmitriy –

    She didn't say she sold it on ebay. But our future potential President said she sold it and made a profit. He spoke without knowing what the heck he was talking about – like he usually does. This is not someone I want running my country. by the way – she wasn't honest enough with her broker – the Jet required 50,000 dollars worth of repairs. Palin is worse than a used car saleman. Another person I don;t want in the white house.

    Dmitriy – Keep trying to support the ridiculous and it will get you no where.

    September 5, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  9. Tiz

    It's McCain that chose the wrong words in Cedarburg, Wisconsin today. He the one who said that Palin "sold it on eBay." Typical McCain: seizing on a successful and promotable sound bite, and completely botching it. Take it and run with it, John! Sounds great to all of them! And all that's matters.

    September 5, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  10. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

    She did say she sold it at a profit and indeed she DID NOT

    September 5, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  11. Wake UP America

    So...let me get this straight.... if you question B. Hussiens Obama's policies or lack thereof, you are racist.... if you question Sarah Palin then you are sexist... WHAT

    September 5, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  12. Defend Our Constitution

    This whole mess is an example of the reason why McCain's campaign won't let Palin be interviewed by any journalists...

    A senior McCain campaign official tells Marc Ambinder that, "despite the gaggle of requests and pressure from the media, Gov. Sarah Palin won't submit to a formal interview anytime soon. She may take some questions from local news entities in Alaska, but until she's ready - and until she's comfortable - which might not be for a long while - the media will have to wait."

    September 5, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  13. Mad Black Woman

    She put it on ebay, is the TRUTH. Not everything that is put on ebay sells. The TRUTH was a good line that even I enjoyed. Keep it up because you weaken Barack with every petty account of anything in your desperation.

    September 5, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  14. A woman independent voter

    Is this story like the Bridge to Nowhere story that she was in favor first-see Anchorage Daily News October 2006, they asked to her: Would you continue state funding for the proposed Knik Ann and Gavina Island bridge? She answer yes and would like to see infrastructure projects built sooner rather than later.
    And later in 2007 she changed her mind.
    Is this half truth, half lie or flip flopping.

    September 5, 2008 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  15. No way, No how, No Mccain and Palin

    She has been on the scene for just a week and how many scandals have surfaced? It seems there is still more about this pitbull

    September 5, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  16. Wake UP America

    So…let me get this straight…. if you question B. Hussiens Obama's policies or lack thereof, you are racist…. if you question Sarah Palin then you are sexist… WHAT IS THE MATTER WITH JUST BEING ABLE TO QUESTION THEM WITHOUT BEING CALLED NAMES FOR QUESTIONING!?

    September 5, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  17. Anonymous

    A politician exaggerating a past accomplishment?! I can't believe it! Now this is news!

    September 5, 2008 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  18. E. Michael

    She also said she had stopped bridge to nowhere, congress stopped it, It's the same old same old, MCSame have not said what they would do to quit borrowing money from China or how McCain after decades in WAshington will finally limit speding. Old guy McCain need to go home to whichever home he can remember and send Carbiou Barbie back to Alaska

    September 5, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  19. Donna

    Why was it OK to spread rumors about Obama (muslims, etc) but it is not OK for anyone to say anything about Palin? Amazingly, people believe the rumors about Obama but they won't bring themselves to believe Palin is as corrupt as the rest of the Repugs. She lies!!!!!

    September 5, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  20. Wendy


    By making that statewment she IMPLIED it was SOLD on Ebay. The story just wouldn't sound so reformist is she told the whole truth!
    WAKE UP AMERICA! The REPUBLICAN party is about LIES and DECEIT!!!!!!!

    September 5, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |

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

    Now I cant believe you said that. It's moments like this that WE need to call folks out to let them know that half statements are not right. (both sides!) What she implied was that she was a quick thinker that saved the tax-payers money, but the full truth is that she wasn't shrewd enough to get ahead with a great idea. Actually ended up loosing mony and costing the people money!!

    Why mention quips like this thinking the wont be fact checked...huh? they're waiting for people like YOU to ignore the facts that's what's up!!

    September 5, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  22. Jan

    The point was she didn't keep it.

    September 5, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  23. sue calgary

    wow! not only is she mean-spirited, but she's also a liar? what next?

    September 5, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  24. Sandy


    September 5, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  25. Jack

    Straight talk express, my butt.

    September 5, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
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