Friday, September 05, 2008

McCain lied about Palin's eBay jet

The Alaska Department of Public Safety purchased this Westwind II jet for $2.7 million in the summer of 2005. Palin sold the luxury jet two years later for $2.1 million, calling it extravagant. (2005 Photo by David J. Sheakley / Associated Press)

During Sarah Palin's vice presidential acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, Palin noted her frugality as Alaska's governor by saying how she disposed of a corporate jet acquired by her predecessor. According to Palin:

While I was at it, I got rid of a few things in the governor's office that I didn't believe our citizens should have to pay for.

That luxury jet was over the top. I put it on eBay.

The Chicago Tribune has the story on how Palin sold the corporate jet:

JUNEAU, Alaska -- When Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin sought to illustrate her frugality and flair to delegates at the GOP convention Wednesday, she described how she disposed of a corporate jet acquired by her unpopular predecessor.

"That luxury jet was over the top," Palin, the Republican vice presidential nominee, said to loud cheers. "I put it on eBay."

Palin's statement implied the plane was sold through the online auction site revered for empowering millions of small entrepreneurs, and Palin's spokeswoman insisted Thursday that the transaction occurred. But the plane failed to sell on eBay.

Instead, the 23-year-old 10-seat Westwind II was sold in August 2007 for $2.1 million to a Valdez, Alaska, entrepreneur; that's about $300,000 less than a broker's asking price, according to news accounts.

Also, while Palin characterized the plane as an extravagance of former Gov. Frank Murkowski, who arranged for its purchase in November 2005, the plane saw heavy use transporting Alaskan convicts.

Alaska does not have adequate prison capacity and contracts for space with a private facility near Phoenix. On Thursday, 24 percent of the 4,546 Alaskans in jail or in prison were serving their time at Arizona's Red Rock Correctional Center, said a spokesman for the Alaska Department of Corrections.

When the state first began using the plane in November 2005, prisoner transport accounted for 58 percent of the jet's use, and Murkowski's office used it 23 percent of the time. Over time, Murkowski's usage increased.

Today, the U.S. Marshals Service transports 90 percent of Alaska prisoners to Arizona.

According to Palin's acceptance speech, she said she "put" the jet on eBay, but never told the convention that the jet was not sold on the online auction forum. Instead, she implied that the jet was sold on eBay. The jet was sent to a broker and sold to an entrepreneur for $300,000 less than the broker's asking price. Palin also failed to disclose that her predecessor, former Gov. Frank Murkowski, had heavily used the jet for transporting Alaskan convicts. So while Palin didn't outright lie about the corporate jet, she never completely disclosed the full truth about the jet either.

Now listen to what Republican presidential candidate John McCain says about Palin's eBay corporate jet auction. From YouTube:

It is bad enough for Sarah Palin to fudge the truth about the corporate jet, but John McCain just completely outright lied about the jet. The jet was never sold to eBay, nor was it sold at a profit.

Then again, what did you expect from John McCain?

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