Friday, September 05, 2008

Urban Myth: Alaska Jet Not Sold on eBay as Palin, McCain Claim

claim about jet sold on ebay by palin is tall tale urban myth not true story


Plane Not Sold on eBay

Updated 7:10 p.m.

By Anne E. Kornblut

One of the compelling anecdotes about Sarah Palin is that she auctioned off the Alaska governor's jet on eBay after taking office -- a swift move made by a reformer hoping to clean up the excesses of her predecessor.

But in fact, the jet did not sell on eBay. It was sold to a businessman from Valdez named Larry Reynolds, who paid $2.1 million for the jet, shy of the original $2.7 million purchase price, according to contemporaneous news reports, including a story in the New York Times.

Dan Spencer, the director of administrative services for Alaska's Public Safety Department, said that the Republican speaker of the Alaska House, John L. Harris, brokered the deal. Reynolds made campaign contributions to both Palin and Harris in 2006 and 2007.

What happened? It appears that, as promised during her bid for governor in 2006, Palin did try to sell the plane on eBay but that doing so was not as easy as it might have sounded. After putting it up to auction, there was one serious bid, in December 2006, and it fell through. Still, the Westwind II was sold about eight months later, achieving Palin's goal of ridding the state of a luxury item.

But that hasn't stopped Palin, or John McCain, from implying -- and, on Friday, claiming outright -- that Palin did sell the jet on the Internet.

"You know what I enjoyed the most? She took the luxury jet that was acquired by her predecessor and sold it on eBay -- and made a profit!" McCain declared in Wisconsin at a campaign stop on Friday. It could not be immediately determined what that profit was.

The video tribute to Palin that aired at the Republican National Convention on Thursday night made the same claim. "She signed sweeping ethics reform legislation, auctioned the governor's jet on eBay," the narrator said, citing it in a list of Palin's achievements.

Palin has been more cautious in her comments. Rather than claiming she sold it on eBay, she gave in her convention remarks a description that was true but, nonetheless, still left the impression she had sold the jet online. "That luxury jet was over the top. I put it on eBay," Palin said.

"She put the plane on eBay," said Tucker Bounds, a spokesman for McCain's campaign. "It didn't meet the minimum threshold the state desired so they used a broker.

Here is link to the Washington Post story.

And this is from the NY Daily News:

Story that Sarah Palin sold Alaska state jet on eBay is a campaign-trail tall tale

Friday, September 5th 2008, 12:05 PM

The folksy tale of how Gov. Sarah Palin saved Alaska millions by unloading the state jet on eBay is fast becoming a campaign fish-that-got-away tale.

Sen. John McCain not only repeated that story on the stump Friday to tout his Republican running mate, but added, "She made a profit, too."

The truth is that Palin couldn't find a buyer last year when she tried to peddle to plane on eBay - and lost the state money when she did sell it.

Palin's predecessor, Frank Murkowski, originally bought the 20-year-old Westwing II for the state of Alaska for $2.7 million. She listed it on eBay for $2.5 million.

When no offers came in, Palin hired a jet broker - Turbo North Aviation in Anchorage - which sold the jet for $2.1 million to an Alaska businessman.

"We handled the sale for the state of Alaska," jet broker Rob Heckmann told the Daily News. "The eBay thing didn't work out for them."

Twenty months ago, when Palin was running for governor, she pounded Murkowski relentlessly about the jet and called it an extravagance, even though he shared it with the state's Public Safety Department.

Heckmann said Palin isn't the first politician who has tried to sell a state plane on eBay.

Link to NY Daily News story.

So much for 'straight talk' and 'reform'. McBush the third is about doing business as usual the republican way: enrich the rich and powerful. To hell with the rest of us. That's why John McSame / McCain has at least 60 lobbyists on his campaign staff in key positions. No telling how many more in lower level posistions.

Bottom line so far: It was listed, but not sold on ebay apparently. A clever deceit indeed.

Watch what they DO, not what they SAY.

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At September 05, 2008 6:21 PM, Blogger NC Adventurer said...

Since John McCain does not know anything about the internet, he would not understand the difference between posting something on EBay and actually selling it!!

At September 13, 2008 9:36 AM, Blogger Holly said...

You might want to go back and check her words, she never said she sold it on ebay, she said she listed in on ebay which is in fact correct. They weren't happy with the bids they were getting on ebay so they used a broker and got more for it. Facts, you know those things flaming liberals always need to ignore when trying to make a point.


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