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. Musicpromo




    September 5, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  2. Perla

    Just tell the voters what sounds good. Ebay? She knows how to lie like the rest of them.

    September 5, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  3. betty

    she does strikes me as a big time lair, that's why she's been avoiding the media because everything that will come out of my mouth is Lies, lies... she is not even the vice president yet and her lies are so evident
    Bush/Cheney = McCain/Palin

    September 5, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  4. Barbara

    Also, she raised taxes on the town when she was mayor. 38%

    She did lower PROPERTY taxes, but the taxes she raised cost the people more THAT CAN'T EVEN AFFORD PROPERTY.

    No Thanks McCain/Pain

    September 5, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  5. Perspicacious Chicagoan

    Hey McCain – what happened to your previous convictions and judgment? "I put them up for sale on E-bay"

    September 5, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  6. Annie

    Tsk, tsk, tsk. This "lady" is nothing but a big ol' LIAR.

    September 5, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  7. Dori in AZ

    McCain's vetting process shows that he is gullible and that his good judgment has seriously deteriorated. She said it, therefore it must be true....? sigh.... Does he have any idea how many people get taken in swindles that way?

    September 5, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  8. New York

    She sold it not to benefit the people, she sold it because it was breaking down. Read the last paragraph and draw your own conclusions...I know I did.

    September 5, 2008 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  9. Mike M

    It's telling that Palin has been exposed to have lied about so many things in the short week since she was chosen to be McCain's running mate:

    1. She was for earmarks before she was against them and was the first mayor of Wasilla to hire a lobbying firm.
    2. She was for the bridge to nowhere before she was against it and kept the money instead of sending it back to the federal gov't.
    3. She claims to have had no involvement in the attempts to get her brother-in-law fired as a state trooper, but her own husband made calls on her behalf and there are emails from her personal account to the Director of Safety asking why he was still employed.
    4. She claims to be fiscally responsible, but left the town of Wasilla in debt.
    5. She claims to be a Christian, but many people in Alaska have spoken up to say how hateful and mean she is.

    Should we believe Palin or the avalanche of evidence that clearly indicates she's just like George Bush – a wolf in sheeps clothing willing to say anything to get elected?

    However, unlike Bush, she won't won't be able to run out the clock on this election and hope that the great people of this country don't catch on until she's in the White House.

    Reality has a liberal bias!!

    September 5, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  10. john driscoll

    Jeez you people are creeping me out , such Hypcrososy!

    September 5, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  11. Carl

    I already made one comment and I am going to make another. Right now I would rather have Sarah Palin as president than Obama.

    September 5, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  12. Anastasia

    This woman sickens me. There is more about her that will be coming out soon, I hope they uncover the truth. She cut funding for special needs children from 8mil to 3 mil. She is a fraud. I can't wait for Obama and Biden to take over!

    September 5, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  13. Webster

    Thank you Campbell for bringing out some truths on this woman. You seem like the only news person that has. Least your not cow-toeing to McCains people about leaving Palin out of the press.

    September 5, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  14. Thomas Collier

    Does this surprise anyone ? Half truths , exagerations , Out right lies, does this surprise anyone ... We should be used to it after the last eight years... Smells a lot like Karl Rove spin to me ... You know how you can tell a republican is lying... Thats right cuz their moving there lips...And to the Media ... She called you folks out....I would bet there are a lot more things about this person that we have not been informed about ... GET TO WORK.....

    September 5, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  15. Patty, Big Bear, CA

    "LIES AND THE LYING LIARS THAT TELL THEM".....Franken had it right.....and I do mean Republican Right.....

    September 5, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  16. Dr. Proctor

    Sarah Palin should be thoroughly vetted. America does not need to
    become a fascist country.

    September 5, 2008 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  17. Sarah

    First off, Obama uses a speech writer as well... so there goes that argument out the window. Secondly, Palin has been governor for just under 2 years. And if I remember correctly, Obama's been a Senator for less than that. Who's got the experience now?

    McCain is NOT Bush. Just b/c they share a party, doesn't mean they share ideas. Inform yourself.

    September 5, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  18. Scott

    I'm curious: how did she lie when she said she put the plane on eBay? And how does 2 years of campaigning qualify Osama any more than her when that pretty much is his record...

    September 5, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  19. texas democrat

    This ticket scares me more than the bush/cheney! Mccain has found someone who will carry out his principals and ideas to keep this bush thing going for the next 4 years at least.

    September 5, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  20. Lexius

    I can't wait for Palin to take office and stop all that gay marriage non sense. That's an illnes that only some one like palin can cure. Who gives a hoop about environment any way?? Drill baby, drill.

    And get rid of those clinics for unwed mothers.

    Go Palin!!

    September 5, 2008 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  21. john driscoll

    Obama and Hillary have paid no dues, they just bought thier way into a senate seat, mrs campbell brown might understand how that works, louisiana and all

    September 5, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  22. Dale

    Why did they feel the need to lie about this? Wouldn't it have been better to say that the plane was sold with depreciation in order to cut out costs due to maintenance? At least that would have avoided being caught in another obvious fib and still gotten the point across.

    Forget about vetting for VP, how's about the Republicans vetting reality?

    September 5, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  23. anne lie about something so dumb and right off the bat. what a great role model!!!!

    September 5, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  24. Cyrus K

    No way!! The republican VP candidate lied?? I cannot believe my ears! The patriotic, Bible-thumping, evangelical ayatollahs lied???

    No...seriously....are you surprised?

    September 5, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  25. Irish

    So the 'lies' and spin start to come back and hit her in the behind.

    I thought the first lie was when Palin marched out her teenage daughter hiding her 'belly' with a blanket and someone's baby. When that first family portrait was presented, there was not a word about the teenager being 5 months pregnant herself. That family portrait was a 'lie'.

    Her staff didn't know that Sarah Palin was pregnant until right before she delivered. I would call that a 'lie'.

    Now we find out the plane was not sold on E-bay but sold for a loss through a broker. That is what I would tell my children is a 'lie'.

    WMDs? A 'lie'. More of the same.

    Until this country demands strong ethical standards from our leaders, we will continue our fall into a moral abyss and we will continue to be the laughing stock of a world that has much higher standards than we do. I am a flaming liberal and demand honesty.

    September 5, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
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