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. ATG

    Millions who watched her spech wont come back and read this story. So she got away with and republican will get away with another election.

    September 5, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  2. Jimmie G

    I have swampland in Florida to sell you on eBay that is high and dry....especially after huricanes.

    September 5, 2008 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  3. dan smith

    i see barack acting like a hurt child, when he is attacked about his untouchable issues about his early life and nobody wants to bring up his close relationship with mayor richard daly and the good old boys in that powerfull politicol machine of richard daly today or richard daly senior from the past and all of the chicago area corruption

    September 5, 2008 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  4. Gerry in Virginia

    UHOh, just another little stretch of the truth there Sarah. Why can't you NOT be so much like the rest of the repub's with their larger then life yarns to make them appear bigger and more important then they really are. Oh I guess it's because you belong to the party of truth stretchers, McCain (Keating 5) Bush ( Iraq) Cheney (Valorie). Well what the hell, at least your a main player, in with the big boys now. Why not tell those tall tales with the best of them.... You still have a ways to go to be the best but you certainly are learning (Or maybe you already knew)..

    September 5, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  5. J

    Obama has campaigned for almost two years and paid his dues by doing that? Are you kidding me? I'd vote for Biden if he was the top man on the ticket. He's paid his dues!

    I will not vote for someone who was in the Senate for a year before deciding to do a dissservice to this country by running for President of the most powerful country in the world! I don't understand how a little more then half of the democrats voted for Obama. He hasn't done one thing to show he can lead. His list is small, and probably just as small as Palin's. Atleast Palin was a Governor for a couple years. More time in office then Obama.

    I'd rather have a no experienced person at #2, then at #1. #2 listens and obeys what #1 says. I cannot see how Biden can take orders from someone who knows nothing at all about Politics. It's a slap to Biden to be the Vice for this guy.

    September 5, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  6. Carl

    I am going to add my third comment.The Obama campain keeps saying why this country is in trouble is because of the Republicans.
    Wake up people ,the Democrats have been in control of congress for the last two years AND JUST WHAT HAVE THEY DONE? ANSWER:NOTHING.

    September 5, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  7. Texico From Mexico

    Who cares about the plane when she has admitted to wanting to ban books and take away a womans right to choose? Are we going to let this country become a police state more than it already is? Why dont you people wake up!

    September 5, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  8. Susan S.

    What a shock – Caribou Barbie is a know-nothing doofus *and* a liar.

    Nice going McCain, thanks!

    Obama 08 & 12

    September 5, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  9. Matthew

    this is a relatively non issue to me, but it seems as though the scrutiny Obama got for not telling the whole truth about which of his family members liberated which camp should be returned in full to Mrs. Palin.

    September 5, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  10. Amy-Texas

    Look how scared the democrats are??? Ya'll are getting all worked up over a joke!!! WOW CAN YOU SAY SCARED TO DEATH.....
    GO McCain/Palin.

    September 5, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  11. "Rocky" Lyon - DEMOCRAT FOR McCAIN

    All people who complain about smears to the Democrats need to remember the Democrats have been slinging MUD for months and Months. You only talk of what you see and you are blind, in subjectivity and self absorption. EXAMPLE: a comment above McCain=Bush is STUPID. Bush never lied. EVERY VOTER needs to watch this video and call a SPade a Spade – so to speak. I am a DEMOCRAT FOR McCAIN and proud to be. THe LIBERALS (OBAMA et al) have stolen the DEMOCRAT PARTY and are socializing it to oblivian. I want the real party back. CHeck out the video people!!!!!!


    September 5, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  12. No way, no how, no McCain!

    Yep more lies from Same-Ole and Same-as-Same Ole.
    Press cannot ask her any more questions... she doesn't think we have the right to know anything about her, unless it's a half-truth that casts her in a favorable light.
    The arrogance of these folks is unbelievable.

    September 5, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  13. C'mon, people!

    Y'all are so quick to point out that "this is what Obama said, not what you say he said..." Well, my turn – Palin NEVER said she sold the plane on eBay. She said she PUT it on eBay.

    Technicality? Yes. But I've seen PAGES of defenses to blogs that call Obama on similar technicalities in phrasing.

    Find something IMPORTANT to focus on. Not little, petty, meaningless things like this.

    September 5, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  14. Hillary Supporter Jan

    This pitbull with lipstick tells half truths. Sarah you are not and never will replace Hillary Clinton.

    Obama/Biden 08

    September 5, 2008 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  15. Jo Ann

    So what else is new, McCain can't remember from one day to the next
    without his aides telling him, and much more will be discovered on miss lensscrafter.

    September 5, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  16. Otis

    She put the jet on eBay. That's true. So it wasn't sold on eBay. So what? She got rid of waste. That's the issue.

    If you want to talk embellishments...remember that Hillary lied about Bosnian snipers. Obama lied about NAFTA.

    Face it...everyone lies. There's no truth in politics anymore.

    September 5, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  17. Jaison Biagini

    well, i see the keep using not only the ebay line, but also the i told congress i don't want your money for the bridge to nowhere, a bigger lie!! that she opposed earmarks, after she got enough earmarks to give each person in her small town to have each person get over 4,000 dollars per person. next she'll deny leaving her city 20 million dollars in debt. 9000 person town 20 million in debt!! how is that possible!
    they call themselves fiscal conservatives??
    yeah just like bush was!!!!!

    September 5, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  18. shan

    hmmm...sounds like she should have left it sitting in the hangar.

    is this what they're going to do with our economy? tell us we're making a profit when we're actually losing money?

    just tell the truth, folks. you won't look so stupid when the truth does come out. geesh.

    September 5, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  19. DC Steve

    Lets see...she cant use that age excuse...she cant use the fatigued excuse...she cant use the P.O.W. excuse. Ahhh as a woman, mother of five, and a hockey mom...she's allowed to stretch the truth from time to time...I got it.

    September 5, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  20. Tom American

    This VP pick is the stupidest thing I have witnessed in political history. She needs to take care of her husband and kids first. That is a conservative belief. Ignoring your family, like Palin, to pursue your selfish ambitions is a feminist, liberal ideology.

    September 5, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |


    September 5, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  22. Democrat Veteran

    There is a reason that McCain had to tell the republicans to take off
    their republican hats and put on their AMERICAN hats. Because they
    aren't real Americans, they just like to accuse other people of not being
    real americans. What Hypocrites.

    September 5, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  23. Mike

    Everyone must Google 'Anne Kilkenny Palin Email' This women grew up with Palin and gives a deep insight into who she is.

    September 5, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  24. Dave-o, Honolulu HI

    Palin is just another example of the "toe the party line", if you "repeat a lie enough it becomes the truth" Karl Rove politics as usual from the neocons.

    Along with the "half truth" about selling the jet on ebay, she said she said "thanks but no thanks" to the money for the bridge to no where, but only when it becam politically incorrect to keep the money. What they don't tell you is she didn't return the money either. I'm not sure where the money went. I think that's something we should be checking into.

    September 5, 2008 08:39 pm at 8:39 pm |
  25. Independant Thinker

    Well she NEVER did say that she SOLD in on ebay, she said that she put it on ebay.

    September 5, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
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