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. Eric-29-m-PA

    Monica for Obama in Indiana,

    She didn't lie. Wake up. She said she put in on ebay and that's what she did. You want to talk about lies. How about the time Obama said he wrote legislation to force the nuclear agency to report leaks. That was a lie.

    September 5, 2008 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  2. Tim

    She is such a terrible liar. Left Wasilla in debt as mayor. Hired lobbyist to get millions of federal dollars for Wasilla. Lobbied for the Bridge to Nowhere before deciding (after they had gotten nearly all the money from Washington) that they couldnt pay for the rest and axed the project.

    September 5, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  3. kc

    all these time they had papa pit bulls now they have mama "pit bull with lipstick " or is it the blood on the lips for the blood thirsty pit bull
    I wonder !!!

    September 5, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  4. Sick of the koolaid drinkers

    And this is to You CNN. Its pretty disappointing to watch your station with picture in picture and see the diversity of the crowd on fox (Hispanics and African Americans) and you showing old white men. Good Job, way to be fair and balanced

    September 5, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  5. Nik

    Hey, no fair! I'm a woman with a record of reform. I was a mayor before I was governor for the past two years. How dare you investigate what I say in my speeches. How dare you call me a liar. I'm the pitbull with lipstick. All you want to do is attack me. Just take what the campaign tells you as the gospel truth. How dare sexist left wing liberal obama-mania media! AAARRRGH!




    September 5, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  6. Lorenzo Clemons

    Okay, I see it very clear now! Sarah is smart, cute, warm, tender, well educated, and on top of that a "Hockey Mom." She is so warm and wonderful. Now, Hold on and let me click my heals three times. Because if she is seriously being considered as a VP, then I must be in the merry ole land of OZ. How else can you explain an ill prepared, small town, small state two year Gov. can command this kind of attention. There is no comparison between McCain/Pakin and Obama/Biden. Obana/Biden have the care and concern for the health and wealth of America. The Dem's were full of all colors and hues and the Repub where full of.....? Well I do remember seeing about five African-American people in St Paul. Fairness in America can only can be achieved with multi-color, fair share of people and their diverse views.

    September 5, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  7. "Rocky" Lyon - DEMOCRAT FOR McCAIN

    CNN: has spent the entire day picking at Sarah Palin. Never have I heard CNN pick at Barack. THis is strange but beleiveable – it demonstrates the BIAS of CNN toward the conservative party element and the leaning to and for the LIBERALS. Actually the jet was on EBAY. Like so many items the reserve not met allowed it to be pulled from eBay and sold. A profit was made because the jet had depreciated and the amount they got was a little more than current value, but being a valued Aircraft it was a good deal. Also profit was gleaned because Alaska did not have to bear further expenses for Inspections, Annuals, and other FAA required costs. CNN – YOU NEED TO REPORT ALL THE FACTS, not just the half truths that stir up interest from emotion. I am a DEMOCRAT, but unfortunately for you these statements were TRUE and NOT the lies you claim. It is showing your complete lack of journalistic objectivity.

    September 5, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  8. Sarah

    I've got the lipstick to put on this pig!

    September 5, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  9. Anne

    Half-truths and more lies. This woman is dangerous......and a true Republican.
    OBAMA in 2008

    September 5, 2008 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |

    But.. but.. she's a woman! You can't call her a liar.. THAT"S SEXIST!

    September 5, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  11. Dmitriy

    She said she put it on e-bay. She didn't say she sold it on e-bay.

    September 5, 2008 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  12. ME

    SO far the only thing I know about Sarah Palin is that she can spew venom…is that all she’s good for? Is that the only reason McCain put her on the ticket?

    What I would like to know is:
    1) Her stance on health care – will she provide the same protection to us as she does to her own family?

    2) Her stance on women’s equal pay issue- is she willing to fight for equal pay for women whereas McCain voted against that in Congress?

    3) Her stance on Choice – is she willing to give the same rights and benefits to an inner city pregnant teenager as she has to her own daughter?

    4) Her stance on Global Warming – does she believe it exists and if so what is her idea on striking a balance btwn drilling for oil and protecting wildlife?

    5) Her stance on terrorism – does she believe that we should fight them oversees where ever they are or engage in diplomacy to combat it?

    Anybody?? Any Palin follower?? Any answers to these questions would be great, since she is not taking questions from the media.

    September 5, 2008 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  13. Kevin - Jonesboro, GA

    I think that I finally have figured out the McCain-Palin plan in regards to the media. I believe that they are intentionally holding her back from press interviews until the media has dug up the majority of her skeletons and aired them. After they have come out in the open and developed a response to these discrepencies/lies, they will rehearse her responses and then allow her to begin interviews.

    What do you want to bet her first interview will be on Fixed News?!

    September 5, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  14. ch

    Hillary should have been the VP – she did get those 18 million voters.

    But Obama didn't have the courage.......

    September 5, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  15. thomas sundermeier

    She did not lie. She merely claimed that she listed it on eBay, not that she sold it on eBay.

    September 5, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  16. Mari in Indiana

    I recorded her entire speech and Palin never said she sold the plane on ebay. She said she "put it on ebay" and she did!!! They found a buyer more quickly elsewhere and sold it . Planes cost money just sitting around too and she wanted to get rid of the expense as soon as possible. John McCain misspoke today and said she sold it on ebay. Palin never lied. Get your facts straight!! If she had said in her speech that she simply sold the plane, the press would have come back and reported that she did not tell the whole story because they found out she tried to sell it on ebay first. I cannot believe the ridiculous reporting I am hearing lately. I am so dissappointed in some of the commentators who I use to respect.
    Many of them are just tripping over themselves and making fools of themselves trying to report on Palin. I am sure both political parties are experiencing this.

    September 5, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  17. Bruce B

    Well.......bottom line is. It was sold, it was a expense. Maintenance, gas, etc. I am surprised the leftys are not praising her for doing this. Where are all the greenies on this issue? What about the carbon footprints it is saving? Come on Dems..... is there nothing that pleases you. Where is Al Gore on this issue? He should be praising her on this.

    September 5, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  18. Schny rules

    I was hoping for better from Palin. Everyone was.

    September 5, 2008 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  19. Rick in Az

    If the McCain campaign has a problem with Sarah doing interviews then why not just have Dick Cheney put on a dress and wig and have him hold the interview in her place? After all, it seems they have the same policies as well as the same ethics concerning telling the truth.

    September 5, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  20. MaryAnne

    The "Mav", the "Barracuda" and the "Pitbull"...all off the funny farm.
    OBAMA 08

    September 5, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  21. vicki

    The Shrilla from Wasilla compulsively lies again! I guess I can empathize, it's hard to make something from nothing.

    September 5, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |


    September 5, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  23. NYCSF

    My vote is for Barack ... and I dont see the ebay comment as a big issue.

    September 5, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  24. Kevin

    What an elitist liar! The angry right, me-first, country second crowd is getting desparate!

    September 5, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  25. Cindy M. Cain

    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    The usual Republican twist. What makes it so funny is that "putting" it on ebay wasn't that big of a deal in the first place. It definitely didn't deserve a space in Palin's and McCain's speeches. Then they use a play on words to make it look like she "sold" it on ebay.

    Typical republican rhetoric. Everywhere you turn this lady is using a play on words to lead you to believe one thing when in reality it is worded in a way that doesn't make it a "lie" so to speak. I can't wait until November 4th when she can return to Alaska and leave the national scene forever, and this is coming from me, Cindy M.Cain (wasn't that a good play on a name? I'm learing the republican way of getting around issues)

    September 5, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
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