September 6th, 2008
11:00 AM ET
15 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. Hillary Supporter

    John just went from the frying pan into the fire. nice choice!!!!!!

    September 5, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  2. maria

    Is there no end to her lies and distortions?

    September 5, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  3. John

    reality? facts? the truth?

    really now, who cares?

    September 5, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  4. Al from Virginia

    Obama is good friends Ayers, a guy who tried to bomb the capitol and said on 9/11/01 " "I don’t regret setting bombs. I feel we didn’t do enough."
    His pastor and his pastor's good buddy Farrakahn go to Libya to hang out with terrorosit sponsor Gahdaffi (before Libya's "repentance").

    And you find out Alaska's used Jet lost some money from it's purchased price and McCain didn't check that particular fact right.

    It is very obvious who CNN wants to be President.

    September 5, 2008 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
  5. SK

    I just saw 'the FAIR and BALANCED' self-titled news agency has published an article to CLEAR Palin of the rumors – Good Move. I tried to add a comment – When are they going to publish similar article to clear Obama of the RUMORS that are going around to own the title – FAIR and BALANCED! The comment itself is not getting published.

    God SAVE America from these media.

    September 5, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  6. Oh Boy!!??

    Now they have a great big plane together with their names on it.


    September 5, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  7. MK, Apex NC

    Palin just said that she put it on eBay. She didn't say that she sold it on eBay.

    But John McCain is being quoted as saying "...sold it on eBay — and made a profit.", when the luxury jet wasn't sold on eBay and the state lost money on it.

    So, either Palin didn't tell McCain the whole truth or McCain is lying.

    September 5, 2008 08:06 pm at 8:06 pm |
  8. Roland

    You mean a Republican is making claims which are not true? I just can't believe that!

    "Mission Accomplished"
    "The economy is strong"

    Two quick examples of the truthfulness of George Bush. McCain is just like Bush, so we can implicitly trust him. We can trust him without even thinking about it . . . Republicans like it when people don't think . . . that's how Republicans get elected!

    September 5, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  9. Americans Unite

    This republican Pary has nothing to offer. I am not even sure why McCain wants to be president. All he has done is attack Obama's character. He has not offered any new ideas or solutions for the problems that most Americans face.

    We must UNITE for the betterment of this country and for the future of our children.


    September 5, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  10. gene

    hey... I put things on e-bay which actually sold.. does that mean I'm more experienced with the economy?

    And the McCain actually goes and says that she sold it for a profit in a public speech? When is McCain going to stop making things up? He just can't stop lying.

    Even though this is something completely trivial... it still speaks loudly of his character. Either he's ingorant or just a compulsive liar. Either way.. scary charachteristics for someone running to be the president.

    September 5, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  11. Brenda of Saginaw ,Michigan

    Boy that is as bad as thebullets flying over our heads as we landed the plane. (no bullets only flowers and children). They really need to check all of her stories. Maybe ebay should sue her for lieing on their company.

    September 5, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  12. Texas

    McBush/PalinCheney in their desperation have no choice, but to make stuff up looking for credibility. However, you can't buy or make up credibility, it has to be earned!

    McBush/PalinCheney are credibility, idea and solution bankrupt.

    September 5, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  13. Frank Lee

    Uh, oh.

    Looks like she's turning into a real conservative – lying and keeping a straight face at the same time.

    Welcome aboard, Sarah.

    September 5, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  14. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot

    Republican... and yes, I mean that as an insult.
    A well known definition of insanity comes to mind;
    Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

    September 5, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  15. Ralph

    So I guess selling the plane to the former governor is sort of like saying you sold it on on e-bay – – – only it was a lie!

    September 5, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  16. NC for Obama/Biden

    I'm shocked that more people don't see Sarah Palin as one of the worst VP picks in history. She brings nothing and takes away McCain's best arguments against Obama.

    The republicans are now trying to say that their message is change too, isn't that cute. They think that the Democrats don't own the change message. Tell that to the guy who has been Washington as long as McCain.

    They also think they have negated the historical significance of Democrats nominating a black man. They seem to have forgotten that a woman VP has been done before when the Democrats were 24 years ahead on that one too.

    September 5, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  17. Andy

    WHO IS THIS WOMAN??? I can't believe the Republicans would so hastly endorse her. Every single day there seems to be another blatent lie, scandal, or "misrepresentation" about Palin. Doesn't anybody in the Republican party research what she ACTUALLY did before letting her mouth run? I feel more proud every day to be a Democrat and have our party question our candidates; it has made them that much stronger.


    September 5, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  18. David

    Notice that Cindy does not let Johnny boy travel alone with the "pitbull". Wonder why? Surely she knows he would not cheat on her with his other trophy. Oh, we had all better learn how to fight for real if McCain is elected. Next up, Russia. Remember, we are all Georgians.

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

    CNN – can you please keep a running tally of all of Palin's lies? There's so many... I'm losing track!

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

    ah, she forgot to say that the guy who bough ti is a major contributor for the she not only didn't sell it on e-bay (lying to the whole country) but she sold it for a loss to a friend......
    What a reformer!

    September 5, 2008 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  21. Celine , Canada

    What on earth is the matter with you all.
    She said that she put it on e-bay and she did .
    Get a life and start discussing the real issues.
    You are becoming rather silly and childish with your observations of the candidates.

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

    Geez...what's with these lying women?

    September 5, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  23. Oil Worker in Texas

    She didn't quite lie about the jet, because she did in fact put it on eBay, it just didn't get sold there. She never mentioned that while mayor of Wasilla population (5740 when she was mayor), that she left the town 22 million dollars in debt. She built a hockey arena with taxpayers picking up the tab on land that the city didn't have clear title to. The city is currently in litigation over the arena deal. She also failed to mention that the pipeline she claims to have pushed, was on the table before she was elected governor. She outsourced the project to a Canadian company because as she tells the oil companies were movinh to slow. Nevermind the fact that the 1,715 mile long pipeline won't be complete for ten years. Another interesting factoid is that she was in favor of the "Bridge to Nowhere" and even hired a lobbying firm to secure 27 million dollars of earmarks for the bridge while she was mayor of Wasilla. This lady is real heavy on the trigger when it comes to insults written by others, but light with facts. I encourage everyone to go out and debunk all the lies. half-truths, and rhetoric from everyone.

    September 5, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  24. Reading is good

    Just in case people were wondering (Monica for Obama in Indiana) she did not say in her speech that she SOLD her plane...she said PUT in in ebay. I love how easy it is to twist the words of the person we do not like already. I wish people would just be more open to listening to what each candidate actually says. The "battle" for the White House would be more interesting and with less mud-slinging. This is coming from an undecided who wants for substance from both sides and less words filled with nothing.
    So, let's just ACTUALLY listen and read what they say.

    September 5, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  25. pdogood

    Just watched Campbell Brown on this and agree that she (and apparently CNN) are quite biased. Palin never said she sold it there – but she did have the initiative to put it there (McCain needs to get the story straight & apparently misspoke). She may well have sold it at a "profit" – CNN didn't bother to see what the actual book value of a used jet was – given the way state government works it was probably in bad condition. In any event the money saved by dumping the luxury vehicle was the point. The reporting was simply hypercritical – more like left wing "analysis" than responsible journalism. By the way, spouses in divorce proceeding are notoriously unreliable witnesses – did CNN really get an "exclusive" with the accused spouse of her sister when anything he could say would be irrelevant to the accusation. Another bit of questionable journalism.

    September 5, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
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