Palin Did Not Sell Jet on eBay

Palin Sis Not Sell Jet on eBay

Vice Presidential hopeful Governor Sarah Palin told fellow Republicans at the GOP Convention that she sold the state’s 20-year-old business jet, adding with a giggle that she “put it on eBay.” But she did not sell it on eBay.

Not for lack of trying. She put it up for sale on eBay (with a $2.5 Million reserve) four times during her first year in office. Ms. Palin had campaigned on this issue and really wanted the headline-grabbing notoriety of a jet plane sale on eBay. There was an offer of $1.9 million, but the state bungled the terms of sale and the customer bought elsewhere. The Alaska state government continued to pay off the plane at the rate of $62,492.79 per quarter.

Finally the jet, now 21 years old, was placed with a broker and sold for $2.1 million (minus the broker’s 1.5%) to a gentleman in Valdez, AK, who uses it to fly big game hunters across the Bering Strait to Eastern Russia. The eBay stunt wasted the state’s time and the people’s money.

Governor Palin has not learned anything since her time as mayor of Wasilla, when she bungled a land deal and bought the tiny town a $125,000 plot of land for $1.7 million. This is the great administrator Senator McCain picked as his running mate. What we learned from Governor Palin’s address: search her words for fibs and half-truths; search her actions for expensive political stunts and gimmicks.

Now that she has sold a used jet to people who fly hunters to Russia, look for Governor Palin to claim this as foreign policy experience.

Westwind II image, Anchorage Daily News

39 Responses to “Palin Did Not Sell Jet on eBay”

  1. zsirrom Says:

    it was meant to be a joke, “i put it on ebay” you’re supposed to laugh. She didn’t lie, all she said was she put it on ebay. Did it fail to sell? Yes, but she never said that it sold. Sometimes i think people get way too caught up in the details, we’re all people, we all make mistakes, give them a little slack. When they make a joke in a speech, lighten up, laugh at it, enjoy yourself.

  2. tsfiles Says:

    So she should have said that she “tried” to sell it on eBay and didn’t.

    Wow, what a horrible person that Palin is. Let’s start an ethics investigation.

    You folks continue to prove how desperate you are.

  3. Mike Licht Says:

    zsirrom writes “it was meant to be a joke.”

    Wrong. It was meant as a stunt, and the failed attempt was costly for the people of Alaska.

    Ms. Palin ran for governor as Just-A-Mom who would sell the fancy-pants jet on eBay. The stubborn, year-long attempt to use eBay failed; it cost a quarter million in extra payments and a drop in the value of the aircraft (it was a year older when they sold it). And add a year’s-worth of storage. The plane should have been sold through a broker in the first place.

    Even when there was a valid eBay bidder, Ms. Palin was not prepared, and lost the sale.

    This is not just about shading the truth at the convention. It is about incompetence, and a willingness to spend public funds in an attempt to gain personal reputation. These are not attributes of a good public leader.

  4. Mike Licht Says:

    tsfiles: There are enough investigations into Governor Palin’s abuses of power while in office. And she’s only been there 20 months.

    At first glance, it appears the Governor’s incompetence is wasting lots more money than her predecessors stole. Good thing the rising price of oil fills the state’s coffers faster than her fumbling empties them ($5 billion budget surplus), and the Alaska congressional delegation can deliver the record Pork she asks for.

  5. Jerry Says:

    Hey Guys the point is that she dumped it! Not how she dumped it! Had she attempted to sell it through a broker first would it have sold any quicker or for more money? You have no way of knowing! Ain’t it great to be the armchair quarterback. Your rantings belie you.

  6. Karin Risko Says:

    A joke? Maybe to people in Alaska who know about this. I took it to mean see how innovative I am and then you find out it’s only partially true.

    Today in Wisconsin (I was watching him stump on CNN), McCain, after gushing about his VP pick, bragged – and what about that jet. She sold it on ebay “And for a profit!”

    Well, the plane sold for apprx. 25% less than the original price. That’s not a profit!

    I’m not knocking Gov. Palin’s decision to sell and taking less might have been the only way to get rid of it. I find it disturbing that McCain spouts the story out as fact and ad libs the profit part. Not only doesn’t he know how many houses he owns, he doesn’t know the difference between profit and loss in its simplest form.

  7. wilco278 Says:

    It was not a stunt. The State of Alaska sells many larger surplus items on eBay. A couple years ago they sold a decommissioned ferry vessel. In 2007 eBay surplus sales brought in $189,000.
    As far as losing the sale, that’s not directly her fault, but rather the fault of the people in the Department of Administration that were handling the sale.
    As an Alaskan, I wouldn’t call her incompetent. She herself gave the best description of herself when she said the difference between a hockey mom and a pitbull was lipstick. Her leadership and management style is equivalent to being around a pitbull. She’s all smiles and friendly as long as you can advance her career and kowtow to her whims. Disagree with her and she is terribly vindictive. Shakespeare was right, “hell hath no fury like a woman scorned”. It is not an effective leadership/management style.

  8. Mike Licht Says:

    wilco278: If the State of Alaska Department of Administration was able to respond to eBay bids before, but not under Palin, who made the eBay sale of the jet a campaign, issue, what does that indicate?

    The stubbornness of leaving the jet unsold for a year because selling it on eBay sounds better, even if it makes no economic sense may be considered okay in a government that has a $5 million budget surplus due to the high price of oil, but the nation is trillions of dollars in debt.

    Vindictiveness seems to be a Palin hallmark, as does demanding loyalty while biting the hand that feeds you. Vice Presidents represent the nation in diplomacy. Governor Palin flunks that test, too.

  9. tipptalk Says:

    The point is she saw it is as an extravegant expense and got rid of it. Are you more upset that she is a woman or that she can run an office better than most men??

  10. Mike Licht Says:


    As Joan Vennochi says in the Boston Globe:

    Questioning Sarah Palin’s credentials to be vice president isn’t automatically sexist, any more than it is automatically racist to question Barack Obama’s readiness to be president.

    Governor Palin can run publicity stunts better than most men or women I know. She has had less luck running small towns, and even neglected to send guidelines to the Alaska State Legislature as Governor (even that may have been a stunt).

    It’s hard to do real damage in a state of 670,000 with a budget surplus of $5 billion (due to the high price of oil) but Governor Palin is doing it. If Alaskans like it, fine. But the Us population is 304,674,428, the national debt is $ 9,673,997,312,973, and electing Ms. Palin puts her an elderly heartbeat away from the Presidency.

  11. suppose Says:

    Keep it up. Hope you guys keep attacking Palin. Call her all kinds of dirty names and assaulting every facet of her character.

    This will help in the campaign to better understand the Socialist by the name of Obama, and aid in his defeat.

  12. Mike Licht Says:


    We’re discussing Ms. Palin’s brief public career, in which she has proven politically astute but administratively inept. Repeat: cancer patient John McCain is 72 years old. President Palin? Lord preserve the nation.

  13. Fred Stohl Says:

    If it were just the airplane you might, I repeat “might” have an argument. There is more to running a business called jet airplane. There is the increased higher level of maintenance (it’s 21 years old), the pilot crew salaries (higher level of skill then King Airs), how much time do you save flying say 200 miles at 400 mph versus flying those same 200 miles at 300 mph in a King Air. She was right – Alaska couldn’t support it, couldn’t justify it and couldn’t afford it.

  14. Brian Says:

    As someone who used to sell on eBay, I wonder how much those four unsold listings cost the Alaskan taxpayer? Remember that eBay gets their money whether your item sells or not – especially on items with a reserve. I can’t imagine what listing fees for a $2.5 million jet would have been.

    This article makes an important point. She left the impression that she SOLD the jet on eBay, and the majority of people couldn’t be bothered with the details. They’ll be saying she sold a jet on eBay for years to come.

    Palin’s record of fiscal irresponsibility is just coming to light. When she left office as mayor of Wasilla, they were $20 million in debt. How she can sell herself as a conservative is beyond comprehension.

  15. Mike Licht Says:

    Fred Stohl: I certainly agree with Governor Palin that a Westwind II is inappropriate for travelling around Alaska, since it can’t land or take off in the bush.

    Perhaps Murkowski used the thing to bring prospective investors from the Lower 48 to visit the state (it seats around a dozen). I can’t see how that would be worth it, but travel to Alaska is a pain, and other mayors and governors spend millions on out-of-town trips to court potential investors.

    Dumping the jet is not an issue; obstinately continuing to try doing it through eBay at a cost to taxpayers is. It was a failed publicity stunt, but the half-truths of Palin’s convention remarks even fooled Senator McCain, who has been telling voters Palin sold the jet on eBay for a profit (wrong on both counts).

  16. Palin Fib Takes Off! « NotionsCapital Says:

    […] luxury jet (one like Cindy McCain’s, the one he uses) on eBay, for a profit. Wrong on both counts. Ms. Palin stood next to John McCain, smiling and waving, and let him say these falsehoods. There […]

  17. TAF Says:

    I LOVE IT! Keep going after Governor Palin! The statement made was that she put it on eBay. You might want to infer that it sold… that’s your business. To say it was a lie is not true. Someone needs to rein in McCain when he says she sold it… he inferred the same as many of you. My first thought was “I wonder if it sold”. The liberal media is now publicly looking like the biased buffoons they are! Wanna talk about lies and half-truths?!? How about Obama sitting in a church for 20 years and not knowing the preacher was spewing hate filled anti-American racist messages. How about his friendship with a terrorist?!? I know, Obama was only eight years old… problem is… Ayers still proclaims he didn’t do enough. Imagine this scenario with a friend of Osama Bin Laden in the year 2011… but Obama was only 40 when Bin Laden attacked the U.S…. ABSURD! I could list dozens of LIES that Obama has told which could never fall into the category of half-truths. Even his family has said his book was full of lies… BUT THAT’S OK if you’re a Democrat!

  18. Mike Licht Says:


    Palin’s deception was intentional, and deceived her running mate, causing him to utter two falsehoods on Day 1 of their campaign. What did she do? Smile and wave.

    You know any terrorists? Turn them in to the authorities and get some cash. Oh, you mean a 60s radical? And Obama conspired with him in the 60s? Oh, he didn’t? But this “terrosist” was convicted, right? Oh, he wasn’t?

    Senator McCain sleeps with a convicted felon every night, but it is not relevant to this post.

    So stay on topic, please.

  19. Brutus Says:

    You guys are hopeless. It was a joke. When I see you libs scrambling to find such foolishness to blog about and then add in the alleged bikini pics, I know you are so scared. I guess you really are shaking in your Che t-shirts because you know Sarah Palin changed the entire dynamic of this race.

    Go ahead and wallow in your self-righteous worship of the messiah – we’ll see you in November.

  20. Mike Licht Says:

    Brutis: See any bikini pix on my blog? In point of fact, those Photoshopped images are largely on Palin fan sites.

    My mash-ups are obvious and clearly meant to amuse.

    Back on-topic: It was a half-lie at the convention; now it is two full-blown untruths from the mouth of the Republican Presidential Candidate. Senator McCain prides himself on his honor; Governor Palin stained that on Day 1 of their joint campaign.

    Some joke.

  21. suppose Says:

    Keep it up. The more you make a personal attack on Palin the more damage it does to your hero, Obama, the champion of Socialism and big government.

  22. Mike Licht Says:


    1. This post is about the public utterances of a public official, not her character. If you think shading the truth and misleading one’s own running mate reflects on character, so be it.

    2. Let me know if you find something heroic about Senator Obama on this blog. Ditto Socialism.

    3. I am going to start editing out tiresome, off-topic remarks on this blog, but I will point out that Republican George W. Bush increased the size of the Federal Government and the hordes of private contractors sucking at the pubic teat, decreased government efficiency, and wrecked the economy by removing proven safeguards.

    No more off-topic remarks, please. They will be edited out.

  23. Tarheel Transfer Says:

    Simple people like simple solutions. Brutus, TAF, suppose and the rest seem to want everything in black and white with easy answers to complex questions. McCain’s nomination of this narrow minded, under-educated publicity hound is a stunt itself, one that assumes that women in general are so stupid they’ll vote for Palin simply because she has the right set of reproductive organs. McCain’s people obviously did not vet her properly; they took a look at the other VP candidates and knew none of them would work so they went for a bold choice without doing their homework. She simply doesn’t have the chops to take on the job of POTUS. She’s against abortion even in the case of rape or incest, believes Iraq is God’s war and is against equal pay for equal work. She makes political hay out of the “I put it on Ebay” statement without the details as to how she failed, revealing that she’s just another double talking politician, not any kind of new force. Please. The Republicans have done a remarkable job of appealing to the public’s emotions, especially fear, and fooling the average man in the street that they are about him. Their economic philosophy of “we’ll get richer and let some of the crumbs fall off our table for the rest of you” should tell you what you need to know.

  24. 10 things Sarah Palin could have done while John McCain gave his BORING speech « Kingston State Of Mind Says:

    […] shotgun wedding to Bristol Palin 4. Lobby Ebay to refund the $12 in listing fees for auctioning the governor’s jet that was never sold online ( in her speech it did though) 5. Sneak out and join the protesters […]

  25. suppose Says:

    Gee Mike, sorry about making any comments that are negative, are counter to your opinion, or otherwise annoy you. I thought it was a two-way street but I guess the heat in the kitchen is too hot for you.

  26. Mike Licht Says:


    Substantive, on-topic comments are always welcome, negative or positive.

    If you merely need attention, get a puppy.

  27. zsirrom Says:

    k, let me re-state this in a way that hopefully won’t be twisted out of context,

    It was a joke, if you watched her speech and used common sense you would know that. If you are going off the written words of what she said, I suggest you go watch it so you will get the context in which it was said. If you take what she said and want to infer that she implied that it sold, feel free. I’ll just let you know that by doing that you are taking what she said out of the context in which it was said. That is a big deal. Make sure you keep things withing their context before you going spouting off about how she told a half truth or implied this or that, which she did not.

  28. Mike Licht Says:

    zsirrom says: It was a joke, if you watched her speech and used common sense you would know that.

    Tell that to Senator John Sidney McCain III. He repeated the lie, the first day of campaigning after the convention. and his running mate, Alaska’s Governor, was standing right next to him and did not correct him.

  29. mrb Says:

    Palin’s got a Truth Problem.

  30. Keith Says:

    AWWW… Are these Palin finger pointers the same people who thought it was all right when their “good ole boy” Clinton parsed his words with ” I did not have sex with that woman…” and tried to explain why it was “technically” not sex???

    Are we to assume this airplane “broker” would have sold this 20 yr old airplane instantly, and would not have taken a year to get rid of it? Even after he had it, it, he didn’t get it moved immediately, and by then, the deal was now well known statewide, so he didn’t have any advertising expense, since the media had seen to that during the previous year of yapping about the Ebay no-deal.
    I think it might have taken that long anyway; who’s to say? And for what price might he have moved it sooner? Maybe a lower price?

    The libs have Got to get real. Their candidate took office for the first time in 2004, so he has 2 years experience as a Jr Senator, and has spent the last 1/2 of his term at least, campaigning. (We’ve got 5 mo of that term left) He doesn’t manage that campaign, he’s the candidate. The DNC manages the campaign. “The Party” is the “Company” he works for, and he’s the mouthpiece, the salesman, not the manager. Someone else manages the DNC, not the candidate. Who’s He kidding? He’s never managed a boy scout pack! He goofed off in the Illinois State senate until ’02, and took 2 years to get himself elected to US Senate in 2004.

    A Jr senator in his first 2 years isn’t comparable to a State Governor of Any state, in any way, shape or form.

    Palin doesn’t have a truth problem. She told the truth. She put it on Ebay. That’s the truth. She did! The fact that she didn’t make it part of her speech the fact that it didn’t sell, doesn’t make her a liar! Nothing she said was a lie. What Clinton said WAS a lie. He wasn’t guilty of leaving out a small statement. What he said was untruthful. A Lie! Sheesh.

    Palin just didn’t tell you everything you needed to try to parse it against her. It wasn’t necessary. It happened a year ago, and that info is readily available to anyone who knows how to Google. It wasn’t being withheld as a lie or even a secret. It just wasn’t included in what was already a 45 minute speech. Good grief, how long a speech would it have been if she’d have explained every detail of everything she’s done since her first office as PTA Pres. She’d still be talking right now!
    If you’re going to vote for someone, it should be because of their qualities, experience, and intentions, not which party they’ve joined. Bashing this woman is clearly party oriented, and that’s clear indication of the intelligence and immaturity of the people who are trying to twist and squeeze something “false” out of every ommision or tongue slip she makes.
    It’s alright to criticize, but right thinking people will seek actual truth, not the party line, to make their judgements. The criticisms here are clearly the party line.

  31. Mike Licht Says:


    If Ms. Palin did not mislead the American people at the convention, then Senator John Sidney McCain III must have misunderstood her due to his approaching senility.

    Shame on you for suggesting that.

  32. Keith Says:

    Well, I prefer to stick to the facts. The fact was, she didn’t sell it on Ebay. The fact was, she did finally sell it, who cares where or how! The fact is, she didn’t mention the details of the sale, or that it wasn’t Ebay, but another source who finally completed the sale. But Sarah Palin did nothing at all to hide that fact. You think she should have said ” I put it on Ebay- where it didn’t sell, so I pulled it off there, and listed it with a broker, where a few months later he sold it.” But I still sold it, and got it off the payroll. Not as fast as I’d have liked, but just like you selling your house, you list it with a real estate broker for a while, and if it doesn’t sell for your initial price, you either list it with someone else, or lower your price, or both… don’t you??? ”
    Since that wasn’t part of her speech, you guess- because you really don’t know that to be a fact- that she had clear intentions of hiding a fact that she would be aware was clearly in public view, since she’s been fighting that issue in Alaska for 2 years. The fact that John McCain apparently got it wrong, and hadn’t heard the whole story doesn’t make him a liar. It does make him misinformed about that particular fact, but using someone’s lip slip as “proof” that they are lying is pretty much a college kid mindset. Maybe you are one. If so, see you when you grow up. It’ll look different then, after you’ve made those same mistakes yourself a bunch of times, and come to expect that normal people normally overlook mistakes, and don’t try to turn them into something else.
    Again, both sides are making plenty of mistakes. Let them. Judge them on their true merits, not some silly partisan tripe, that’s nothing more than parsing words, or expanding a mistake into a major political stumble. The people at the voting both know better.

  33. Mike Licht Says:


    So stick to the facts: Mrs. Palin meant to mislead the American public and she has, starting with her running mate, Senator McCain. See the video.

    Is it the worst thing she has done? Sadly, no. But it was how she started the campaign, and it is what this post is about. We do not go off-topic here.

    For some of her other indiscretions, look elsewhere on this blog and in major (and Alaskan) newspapers.

  34. Keith Says:

    And that Is the fact. You don’t know. You do not know what she intended. You are not her mind-reader, so you don’t really know. You assume. You guess. You want to believe she’s misleading, because she’s the other candidate, but you don’t know! What’s so misleading about McCain forgetting a relatively minute’ detail about whether it was actually Ebay or someone else that conducted the actual transaction. She put it on Ebay, actually. She Actually sold it. Actually, there was a second party who took it off Ebay and conducted a transaction off their site. So what if McCain slipped up on that during a speaking engagement. I’ll bet if you asked him, he’d correct it on the spot! Who wouldn’t? This is what I mean. These kind of arguments telling me about “facts” that are just some blogger drivel, aren’t “facts” at all… telling me what Mrs Palin “meant” to say or do, from you or someone who doesn’t know her personally, isn’t “fact”. It’s your opinion. Not Fact! Facts are things that are proveable, not votable. It doesn’t matter how many are on your side, or believe with you- that doesn’t make it a “fact”.
    So if you’re sticking to the facts, don’t give me your opinion of what someone else thought, or intended, unless you have it from them. Know the difference between opinions, suppositions, and facts.
    Now, since these kind of arguments with basically immature thinkers generally end up down a hole of silliness, I’m going to quote the famous village idiot, Forest Gump. “… and that’s all I have to say about that!

  35. Mike Licht Says:

    Keith: Of course Ms. Palin meant to mislead; there is no other reason for such a locution.

    And the results speak for themselves: she mislead John McCain.

    If you think the Senator is a stupid, gullible old fool for taking her comments that way, please comment about that incident where it is approriate, not on this comment string.

  36. Troopergate — Plane Talk Express « NotionsCapital Says:

    […] prisoners and escorts directly back and forth for court dates in a few hours. Since Governor Palin sold the jet, if commerical tickets are not available or prisoners are violent, one of the state’s two […]

  37. Obama’s Senate Seat for Sale — on eBay « NotionsCapital Says:

    […] bleeping broad in Alaska offered to trade a bleeping  jet for it. She said an old friend lost a seat  just like it and she wanted to replace it as a Christmas […]

  38. Palin: Just Plane Folks « NotionsCapital Says:

    […] Palin has a long experience with private jets. She campaigned for Alaska governor by vowing to sell the state jet on eBay. She kept part of her promise. The jet was listed on eBay for a year, stored, unused, in a heated […]

  39. College Speech by Scholarly Sarah Palin « NotionsCapital Says:

    […] by a large private jet (Mrs. Palin knows all about […]

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