How to Sell Your Gubernatorial Airplane

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Ed Rendell has some advice for Sarah Palin on that whole eBay thing. Turns out there’s sort of a Craigslist for airplanes:

Pennsylvania is preparing to turn over the keys to one of its two executive planes to an Illinois company that has agreed to buy it for $1.375 million – above its appraised value and several hundred thousand more than the state paid for it 16 years ago.

Palin, the governor of Alaska, tried to win points as a reformer by declaring at last week’s GOP convention that upon taking office, she put her state’s jet on eBay. Turns out, she did just that, but in the end, it was sold through a broker for $2.1 million – less than the $2.7 million that Alaskan taxpayers paid for it under a past administration.

“It just goes to prove that a high-flying but inexperienced politician is no match for a down-to-earth professional when it comes to selling state planes,” said Chuck Ardo, Gov. Rendell’s press secretary.

Unlike Palin, state officials in Harrisburg chose not to bother with the online auction route after Rendell decided in April to sell the plane, a 1981 Beech King Air 200, in a cost-cutting move.

The state wanted to avoid eBay’s commission – upward of 2 ½ percent of the sale price – so it instead advertised the plane on two aeronautical Web sites. The total cost: less than $700. It drew four bids, with the highest coming from Midwest Underground Inc., an East Moline, Ill. pipeline contractor.

UPDATE: This email from Danny Diaz at the RNC:

“Ed Rendell needs to get a grip.”