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. Marc

    Well, I'm just shocked that the McCain campaign would lie about Palin's wealth of experience – so now we've got the plane on EBay that didn't sell, the Bridge to Nowhere (by the way, what politician would EVER call part of the state where they're running for election "Nowhere"?) that she was before before she was against (PS she kept the money,just scrapped the bridge), and all the earmarks that she just HATED to hire a lobbying firm to acquire $27 million of.

    Of course we have no idea what the woman actually thinks or knows since she's only read prepared speeches and refuses to sit for unscripted interviews or press conferences. Yeah, this is someone I'd feel safe being a 72-year-old heartbeat away from the Presidency.

    September 5, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  2. B

    I think Gov.Palin will be attractive to the Christian Evangelicals and Fundamentalists that love to hear Bible teaching which is perfectly ok.

    However, the curent family issues (pregnant daughter and new baby) with Sarah Pailn is sure to have a psychological impact on her and the family.

    It will depend in great on how America wants the country to go from the Bush / Cheney / Rove years.

    Hoefully, McCain, 72, will retire now.

    September 5, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  3. Keith

    Big whoop! So she didn't sell the plane on ebay! The important point is that she sold it in the first place! Honestly, you'd have to be insane to actually care whether she sold it through an online auction or not.

    September 5, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  4. Betty

    Will someone in the news media please LET THE PUBLIC KNOW that ALASKA'S TOTAL population is less than 627,000 – the size of a CITY? And this little 20 month "experienced" lady talking about leading a country of 300,000,000!!! Don't let them make a fool of the whole nation.

    September 5, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  5. truth-in-media

    Typical Republican crap. But the "I put it on ebay" gets big play all over the media, and "it didn't sell" is buried on the ticker somewhere. CNN, please get it together? Where's the update on gazillion-college-gate?

    September 5, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  6. Elizabeth H.

    Sarah Palin is only being hype up by the media. This so called
    "darling" image of her went sour after her ugly, hateful speech.
    We now know what she really is.

    Democrats 08.

    September 5, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  7. Anna

    She said she put it on E-bay so the taxpayers wouldnt have to pay for it. She NEVER said she sold it on Ebay.

    if you people are going to be petty, the least you could do is demonstrate reasonable literacy!

    I am so sick of the bantering over stupidity; but I am glad you don't have any real problems to think about.

    i am getting a headache.

    September 5, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  8. from NH

    My English teacher daughter just sent me the following:

    Jesus was a community organizer and Pontius Pilate was a governor.

    Very appropriate

    September 5, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  9. anyonmous

    how about you shut up already you are not vp so go back home and stay there palin we dont want you here palin

    September 5, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  10. Lady_Di

    That lie rolled off their lips so easily.......... over and over and over.

    September 5, 2008 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  11. McCain=Bush, 8 is enough

    When I look at mccain and palin on the campaign trail it is almost like he is supervising her very carefully, everything she says is scripted, you can almost see the invisible leash mccain has on his "pit bull"

    September 5, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  12. Proud American of African Descent

    I have decided to vote for Obama this election. He has put out comprehensive plans to get our economy back on track. Plans for better energy sources and usage. Affordable health care. I also believe he has the ability not to lead us into a ill gotten war.

    I just can't listen to McCain and Palin lie about Obama's policies and try to destroy his character.

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

    She spoke better than all of the degreed blanks put together!

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

    Liar, Liar, lipstick on fire!!

    If she lied about something so sinister as this, what else will she lie about????

    September 5, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  15. McCain/Palin


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

    One of so many truth-stretchings. Americans, don't let Palin's interesting "story" eclipse her appalling unreadiness for national leadership. You might "like" her, but that doesn't make her presidential. Journalists, keep pressign for interviews with Palin. We don't know enough yet, and what we DO no is all flash and no substance.

    September 5, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  17. David in Wisconsin

    Why do so political figures lie about things that can be looked up on Google? Do they think that no one will notice, or are they so used to inflating their personal story, that they don't know they are doing it? So now we know that Sarah Palin is a Lying, Hateful, Pitbull with Lipstick who is completely out of touch with the lower 48.

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

    It may not have "sold" on eBay, but putting it on eBay generated news in Alaska and that led to it being sold by thr broker.

    September 5, 2008 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  19. Scott L


    JOB LOSS - UP - 6.1%



    September 5, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  20. Charla2inTexas2

    There is a time and place for everything. Now is the time for Sen. Obama to pull out the Big Guns and put this women in her place. Stop playing the victim Sen. Obama and start using all of those donations to stop the Swift Boating and the lies that these Republican are speading.

    September 5, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  21. Nugget texas

    Everyone Stop! We've had Eight years of more! There is an apparent move toward anti-intellectualism in this country. Obama represents our thirst for knowledge and inquiry. STOP VOTING REPUBLICAN!

    September 5, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  22. Jeff

    I think Palin is a loonie, the jet thing isn't even worth mentioning. There is just such better ammo to talk about.... Cutting funding for special need children, pregnant teenagers, sueing to kill more polar bears. Really, people who love this lady are the ones who only care about abortion. Other than that there is nothing good about her.

    September 5, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  23. Sick of the koolaid drinkers

    She didnt lie. she said she "I put it on ebay" not that she actually sold it on ebay. Its certainly is not like I did not have sexual relations with that women. Or during the democratic debates where every other candidate said Obama has zero experience, and now is quilafied to be president. and do I need to mention Obamas Good friend and mentor, the man who got Obama Started in politics Bill Ayers. Or Obamas racist, I hate whitey pastor who was also a mentor to Obama.
    Pull your head from your Butt

    September 5, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  24. sam

    I am not ready to vote for either of these canadates, my question is when did reporters become part of a compain, instead of netural reporters, I guess 24 hour news is no longer trust worthy, but entertainment TV.

    What do you teach new students in media, money over the story, or entertainment is "what they want" boy that would have really fired the roits in 68, if you were on the air.

    thanks for becoming a entertainment show, instead of a news network, what else do you scew for ratings. all the news channels seem to have become entertainment networks, not news networks. sooo let's change the media schools to acting schools.

    I'll stick to local news. Thanks

    September 5, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  25. McCain + Sarah = confused leadership

    She is full of lies and i'm not suprised!!!!!!!

    September 5, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
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