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. ginger

    Martha, that's funny.

    I just want to know exactly what was the point of the lie and why John McCain is telling the same story. That's really funny. I guess ole boy should have vetted this story.

    September 5, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  2. Independent, white female !

    she is just another politician who will say and spin or withhold from saying to get where she needs to go and win what she needs to win. Sickening how politicians do business and spin stories for their benefit. They really think we Americans are idiots!

    September 5, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  3. julie

    It seems like Palin is at it again, not quite telling the whole story. The so called "pit bull" just comes across as smug.

    September 5, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  4. Hillary 2012

    She put it in the ebay then she sold through the broker
    CNN your reporter told that story
    She didn’t lie like Obama
    Obama said he never been a Muslim
    But in Indonesia school application form He is Muslim

    Give us break

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

    Palin the Liar!

    September 5, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  6. Melanie

    Finally! Now can you also cover her relationship with the Alaskan Independence Party who hate the American flag, and the fact that she actually supported the bridge to nowhere, that her state was #1 in earmarks, that she left her small town deeply in dept after inheriting a dept free town, that she is under 2 ethics investigations, that she tried to fire a librarian who refused to ban books, that she bragged about getting so much government pork, that she recently said she hadn't given the Iraq war much thought.

    Oh, and could you guys start to fact check these conventions. The lies last night ran amock but not one word of what was true and what wasn't. The American people depend on you to supply basic facts so people can't just say anything they want and get away with it. Please.

    September 5, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  7. changing times

    And this is just the beginning....

    September 5, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  8. Honest Fool

    For the record, it was John McCain who lied, and that was probably just his memory failing him. While fellow Republicans like to believe that when they sell something, it's at a profit, it doesn't always work out that way.

    What amuses me is that the seller wasn't honest with the buyer, and cheated him out of $50,000. That's a textbook case of how to make a free market fail: withhold information from the other side. Free markets only work their magic if all parties know what is being bought or sold. Of course, this rarely happens, which is why we have rules, er, regulations...

    September 5, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  9. Don't Vote For Hate

    She sure does seem to have a severe allergy to the truth. How many lies has she been caught in already?

    September 5, 2008 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  10. barbara in fort worth

    How did Gov. Palin fly back to Alaska after her water broke? I don't know of any Airline that allows you to fly in your 7th month of pregnancy. Did she maybe have access to a 'private" jet? Not a joke. I really want to know. However she did it, she certainly didn't have her baby's health as a priority as that it the most dangerous time for the unborn child.

    September 5, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  11. Belle

    CNN you imply Palin Lied...she didn't. She put the jet on didn't sell, she sold it through a broker and saved the state of Alaska tons of what/

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

    I'm sorry, but the choice of Governor Palin as his VP nominee is the one chance that we, as voters, have to judge how Senator McCain would make decisions as President. And sadly, in this case he has proven that his judgment is no better than President Bush. He has chosen a candidate that is woefully unqualified and is (as this story proves) willing to substitute rhetoric for record.

    September 5, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  13. Joe

    Half Truth Palin.

    I was against the bridge to nowhere Shhh but not in 2005 and 2006.

    I sold the plane on ebay. well not really Ebay but it was on there.

    This Women is a FRAUD. Please do not get sucked in by Her Half Truths.

    YES WE CAN!!!!!

    September 5, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  14. M


    September 5, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  15. Maddie, Hartford, Ct.

    When is a lie a lie?
    I guess it's not a's a "fabrication." But she said it with such conviction!

    September 5, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  16. Dan J

    Umm, the point was symbolic.

    Let's see Obama doing something like that.... He still has chefs

    September 5, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  17. Gary

    What we really want to know is the affair she had with her husbands ex business partner... thats the word on the street or should I say mountain side.

    September 5, 2008 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  18. Tammy

    CNN, I am furious at how you report nothing about Sarah Palin's issues
    and beliefs and real qualifications or lack thereof. You say nothing of
    her being against women's right to choose, her trying to ban books at
    the library, or her lack of foreign policy knowledge, yet you disected
    Senators Obama and Clinton 12 different ways.

    September 5, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  19. Susan from Illinois

    Wow....just 'Wow'! Is there no end to the lies this person tells in only a week since her announcement? And the GOP didn't check out everything she was going to say in her speech on Wednesday to confirm the facts?? And McShame perpetuates the lie??

    Just 'Wow'......

    By the way....has anyone thought to ask her when and how Levi proposed to Bristol? I mean America is a sucker for a great love story, and I'm sure we'd all like to hear theirs!! Oh wait...Rove is coaching her on what to say since Levi didn't know he was getting married until this past weekend after staring down the barrel of a 22-gauge rifle pointed at him by his future pit bull-in-law!!

    This candidate was a disgrace from the get-go!!

    September 5, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  20. john driscoll

    I have notice that Campbell Brown seems to be Hell Bent on Destroying anything or one that is a Republican, Lately it's Sara Palin but her Bias has a very well know history that may be due to her family past estrangement of Politics ,Religions and Prison sentences.
    In 1999, her father James H. "Jim" Brown Jr. A former Louisiana State Senator was indicted for lying to the FBI during a routine investigation, served time in a Federal prison, and resigned his post. Brown was reared Roman Catholic, though her father is Presbyterian. She has two sisters. She grew up in Natchez, Mississippi and attended Trinity Episcopal Day School. On April 2, 2006, Brown married her second husband Daniel Samuel Senor (born 1971), a Republican consultant who regularly appears on Fox News. Brown convertedto Judaism, her husband's faith; the two were married in an Orthodox Jewish ceremony.
    The point is simple, she has tendency to split hairs on simple facts, like the sale of the luxury jet that actually sold for more than any used jet would have brought in via standard government surplus auction methods, but Brown has a mission and it's wreaks of a Bias born out of a family of dishonest Southern Eletists.

    September 5, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  21. Betty

    Thanks for bringing the FACTS to light. Also, stop letting the Republicans bully you when stating the facts. The PUBLIC HAS A RIGHT TO KNOW. So, ask McCain how does he plan to PAY for his programs he stated in his speech. He stated a few things, BUT MCCAIN FAILED TO SAY HOW THEY WOULD BE PAID FOR.

    September 5, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  22. Mike

    The Palins are linked to a Radical anti American Alaska secessionist group. Palin shows herself as the wonderfull mother of a special needs child but in truth cut sixty two million dollars in funds for special needs children. She reads well from a prepared script on a teleprompter but struggled through five different colleges in six years to eek out a journalism degree. She tries to force her pentecostal religion into politics like attempting to ban books from the local library when she was Mayor of Moose Turd Alaska. She makes good window dressing but is really a mediocre politician

    September 5, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  23. Martha R.

    I hate when freakin politicians lie. Why not just be honest. But I guess if you don't have any financial worries then lying is so much easier.

    September 5, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  24. RFD from Lambertville

    McCain's comment shows without a doubt that he and his campaign did a poor job veting her.

    Like so many things he says, it sounds good until you learn the facts.

    ex-Republican for Obama.

    September 5, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  25. Doris Indepedent

    She is saying all this to win but we are not fools, SAY THE TRUTH, do not lie, everything will eventually come out.

    September 5, 2008 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
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