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. Brown

    Now I see why she is afraid of the press. I hope she doesn't run out of note cards on her next speech. A heart beat away from the presidencey, but can't face reporters.

    September 5, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  2. Jacki

    I find her statment "I put it on EBAY" very misleading. A half-truth to me is the same as a lie. I am very disappointed in her. What change will she bring to Washington? I was hoping for truth, the WHOLE truth not more half-truths.

    September 5, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  3. precilla dreams

    they lie so much you cant believe anything they say.she also cut funds for special needs family's. even though she has a special needs now these family's will son is special needs, also what will she do for my son? take away what medical support that he has.also,phisical,ocupational,speach and vision therapy's where does this leave my son and millions of other children and adults.who need these srvices.well maybe it doesn't matter to her because her baby will be taken care of and services will be paid by all americans. ijust don't know.about this lady.but what i do know is i will be voting. obama/biden

    September 5, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  4. fd

    McCain said she sold it on ebay for a profit. Both blatant lies that fire up the crowd. They just count on that crowd to not go home and fact check. Maybe Palin didn't directly lie (on this point) but McCain did. I think that's worse.

    September 5, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  5. Kenny

    The unemployment rate rose to 6.1%, the highest level since September 2003. That's up from 5.7% in July and 4.7% a year ago. Unfortunately there is a lot of Jerry Springer-watching stupid Americans. Remember they voted Bush in TWICE! There are entirely too many baboons in this country now. We are ranked 12th as the best country to live, down from 6th in 2002. Our infant mortality rate has actually climbed for the first time in our history while our life expectancy has lowered. All this even though we are still the wealthiest nation. What does that mean? I live out of the country currently. People often ask me, do I really believe the U.S. could possibly elect McCain after 8 years of Bush and all of the struggles we have had. Please give me a reason not to respond, "Don't underestimate the stupidity of the American people."

    September 5, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  6. Mad Black Woman

    When will you be focussing on her possible wrinkles, like you did with Hillary. Maybe she has some split ends you could look into.

    September 5, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  7. Tyrone From NC

    She looked in the cameras
    First she half lied about ebay
    Secondly she BOLD FACE LIED about the profit
    I'm sorry if my previous statements were sexist, don't want to offend the moose hunting, hockey mom, pit bull

    September 5, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  8. DAG

    I've seen more press info on Palin this week than the Hurricans. I

    September 5, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  9. aware

    So? You are really reaching CNN.

    Get over it. Obama is finished! 🙂

    September 5, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  10. Linda from AZ

    Dmitriy your partly right McCain said she sold it on ebay and at a profit which is also not true,

    September 5, 2008 08:51 pm at 8:51 pm |
  11. Festus, Montana

    Sarah Palin reminds me of a cult follower who needs to be deprogrammed. The only thing missing is a basket of flowers and a pair of Birkenstocks. John McCain should be ashamed of himself for exploiting this woman.

    September 5, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  12. Carolyn Sollenberger

    Palin simply said she put it on ebay. McCain said she sold it on ebay. McCain said the sale made a profit not Palin. If you are going to demonize someone get the right target. I think McCain made a mistake. There is no incentive for McCain to lie... he wouldn't need to since it is a great story with or without a profit. It also demonstrates the type of leadership we should be applauding. Also praiseworthy, is that obama became a community organizer after being editor of the Harvard Law review... a very civic choice. Don't you all see it? Don't be pawns in the media game. Research please and consider all sides

    September 5, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  13. Kathryn, Nevada

    If you actually listen to her words in her speach, she said, "I put it up on E-bay". That is exactly what she did. No half truths, only half listeners! Typical of young folks, just like your moms and dads tell you. "You only Half listen"!

    September 5, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  14. Fort Collins,Colorado

    You know if McCain gets elected...lieberman will probably get a cabinet post...scary thought. Isn't it? If McCain gets elected Palin will probably run the office of VP blocks and blocks away from the White House or maybe from Alaska....she won't be another Cheney..McCain does not like women. Her task will be to wait in case something happens to McCain. So that will make her President. Another scary thought. Isn't it?

    September 5, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  15. Darrell

    Sarah Palin is the joke of the world right now.Every other country is laughing their butts off at Americans for the Republican party putting this person on a Presidential ticket.How incredibly embarrasing for every American.Absolute insanity.

    September 5, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  16. aware

    You are really reaching CNN.

    Get over it. Obama is finished! 🙂

    September 5, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  17. Jeff

    OK, I've listened to enough of Palin! What's the difference between her & Cheney? Lipstick!

    September 5, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  18. do your homework


    If Obama didn't really do anything as community leader will you still be that forgiving?

    Call it what it is a lie, that's what I tell my children when they don't tell me the whole story!!!

    please post

    September 5, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  19. seeking truth

    McSane just told the world today that she sold it on Ebay and made a profit....WHAT A BALD FACE LIE! I will reach accross party lines and vote for Obama this time. Go Dems, get this great country back to greatness. This is the USA!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    September 5, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  20. Blakecr


    McCain said he was for change. He didn't say he had a clue about bringing it.

    September 5, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  21. Punahou

    we should put this Miss Alaska under a lie detector

    September 5, 2008 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  22. John Starnes

    Sarah.....McCain voted for and with Bush 90% of the time....inform yourself.

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

    CNN moderators....

    On the previous thread you allowed the following comment:

    "Sorry Sarah, You're the wrong color."

    CNN now condones outright and blatant racism.

    Shame on you.

    Reread you're own comment policy.

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

    Dmitriy she did say that she put it on ebay but she also said that it sold on ebay for a profit...........which was a lie like everything else out of her mouth.............If this poor excuse for a mother has such an it factor why hasn't she done any interviews? and please don't tell me its because she wants to send time with her son cause that's a lie. She is just like Mccain only out for their on benefit..........

    mccain and palin practice what you preach!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Obama 08

    September 5, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  25. No extremeright palin ,FL

    There are more a lot to know about this woman. Good job CNN on that fact check. Keep them honest.

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