eBay Presidential Election Connection – Palin/Alaska Sells on eBay

Palin Listed Alaska Executive Jet on eBay

Palin Sells on EBay

Palin Lists Alaska Executive Jet on EBay

After beating an incumbent republican in 2006, Sarah Palin took her seat in the executive chair of Alaska’s Governor’s mansion and immediately listed the State’s 2.6 million dollar private jet on eBay.

Following through on one of her campaign promises, Sara Palin put the jet on the auction block and returned the proceeds to the people of Alaska.

One of the main reasons she made this promise was due to the fact that the incumbent Governor, Mr. Murkowski, bought the executive jet against the wishes of the Legislature.

The Murkowski administration bought the state’s only jet, for $2.692 million in November 2005, using a special account after it was denied money for the purpose by the Legislature and the federal government.

Palin used this side step by her predecessor as a way to energize the people of Alaska in her campaign for Governor.  The jet became a sore point for the people of Alaska who are practical and saw no reason for the expenditure, when this aircraft could not land in rural areas of the vast State.

Ms. Palin said in a statement: “If the Department of Public Safety decides at a future date that it needs another aircraft, we will invest in something more sensible that can land on Alaska’s rural airstrips. Any purchase, if deemed necessary, will go through the normal legislative budget process.”

The State of Alaska has a long history of selling high dollar items on eBay. From Ferries and Patrol Boats to surplus office machines Stateofalaskasurplus has utilized eBay for the good of the people of the State of Alaska on several occasions.

Meg Whitman, former Chairman of The Board of eBay Inc., had been mentioned by several news reports as a possible running mate for John McCain on the Republican ticket for Vice President, prior to the Sarah Palin announcement. One wonders if Whitman was involved in this very interesting and high profile aircraft listing on eBay, posted by the eventual Vice Presidential nominee.

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0 Responses to eBay Presidential Election Connection – Palin/Alaska Sells on eBay

  1. JT Byron September 5, 2008 at 6:25 pm #

    It is a very interesting story, unfortunately, like many of Sarah Palin’s claims, it simply isn’t true. While she listed it on eBay, she didn’t sell it on eBay. She sold it privately. The other part of the lie is that she didn’t make a profit on it. She lost a lot of money for the State of Alaska. We can also presume that Meg Whitman, who sat in the background and watched these lies being repeated, didn’t bother to advise anyone in the McCain camp that truth matters.

  2. Scott Pooler September 5, 2008 at 7:22 pm #

    @ JT Byron

    Actually Governor Palin did not say she sold it on eBay, she said “I put it on eBay”.

    I would submit that the airplane was sold as a direct result of having been listed on eBay. The high bidder did not complete the initial transaction (we have never had that happen, in our own experiences on eBay, have we)…

    Another buyer, who was alerted to the availability of the plane as a result of the publicity and from its listing on eBay came in and purchased the jet for 2.1 Million dollars.

    Since the Jet was purchased a year earlier by the previous Governor for 2.7 Million dollars, technically you are correct about a net $600,000.00 loss for the State of Alaska…

    Unless of course you use common accounting practices and principles and calculate the costs of maintenance, debt service and depreciation on a similar Jet Aircraft in Alaska.

    That jet, which could not be used effectively in a rural State like Alaska is not costing the taxpayers anything now

    In my book, this is a net gain for the people. This may be why Governor Palin has an 80% approval rating among the citizens of Alaska.

    The Jet was listed on eBay, and the Jet was sold immediately after it was listed on eBay. The only thing you could have on the Governor is fee avoidance – if there were a final value fee on eBay motors, which at the time, there was not.

    Thanks for your comment – and for reading the Trading Assistant Journal!

  3. Robert September 5, 2008 at 7:41 pm #

    Thanks for telling that Palin tried to sell it on ebay.

    Her enemies — the media and the left — were already on tv tonight claiming she didn’t and that it lost money and went to a campaign contributor.

    I buy/sell on ebay all the time and of course we all have had problems with winning bidders not paying. Thanks much for the information.

  4. paul martinez September 7, 2008 at 1:53 am #

    The media is NOT her enemy so you can keep that Republican talking point to yourself. The last time I saw a 600K 1 year loss on a 2.7M expense explained as a positive I think I was reading an Enron annual report.

  5. Scott Pooler September 7, 2008 at 8:46 am #

    @ paul martinez

    Politics aside, I suggest you research the annual costs of owning an asset such as the one we are discussing.

    Please show us any marketplace where Jet Aircraft appreciates in value, especially when that aircraft is used and stored in a wet location like Alaska.

    Simply owning the jet could cost the taxpayers as much as 300k per year even if it never leaves the airstrip. Actually flying the plane raises the costs and expenses through the roof.

    A Jet aircraft that can not be used, and will not be used because it can not land on a majority of the States airstrips, is actually a 2.7 million dollar loss for the taxpayers. When you consider the additional costs of the first year of maintenance, fuel, debt service and salaries, (estimate another 300K conservatively – without even considering depreciation), resulting in a 3 million dollar loss for the people of Alaska.

    If the State did not sell the aircraft, the costs of owning the jet would have continued, whether it was used for the States business, or not.

    Selling an asset like this for 2.1 Million dollars is simply a smart decision.

    It’s like all of the people who recently over paid for homes with incredible and unrealistic financing plans and are now having to sell those same homes for half of the appraised value to get out from under a mortgage they can not pay.

    Sure, the State of Alaska could pay for the plane, but why – if they were not going to use it?

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