The Palin SUV auction that took place on eBay is being met with stiff criticism because the woman obtained the SUV in late Nov. for almost $8,000 more than its estimated value, the Anchorage Daily News reported on Dec. 10. The SUV was owned by the city and it was used by Sarah Palin when she was mayor of Wasilla, the sixth-largest city in Alaska.
The Associated Press cites the main reason for the criticism surrounding the Palin SUV auction is because, according to one official, the current mayor is trying to fatten city coffers off Palin's fame, and the mayor says "guilty as charged."
The new owner of the Palin SUV, which is a tan 1999 Ford Expedition XLT, is a woman from Fairbanks. Although some have criticized the decision to auction off the Palin SUV, others praised the move because city officials reportedly plan on using the money to feed the hungry.
Bidding for the Palin SUV closed on Nov. 28, but not before the winning offer of $10,300 was finalized. Archie Giddings, Wasilla's public works director, says the unnamed woman hasn't picked up the SUV as of yet.
"She does collect some cars and she's a Palin admirer," he said.
Proceeds from the sale of the Palin SUV could be over $8,000 or more and city council members are expected to vote soon in order to sort out whether todonate the money to the Food Pantry of Wasilla. Deputy Mayor Colleen Sullivan-Leonard first proposed this idea.
"Eight thousand is going to go a long way to restock their shelves," Sullivan-Leonard said during an interview. "Certainly the money could go to any charity but I picked one that I thought would be the most beneficial for many citizens."
"I feel like it's unfortunate the mayor would try to capitalize on Sarah Palin's fame and her reputation," Sullivan-Leonard explained. He also expressed his opinion that $8,000 "was above and beyond what the city coffers would need."
The current Mayor of Wasilla, Alaska Verne Rupright, argued that it's s not fair to other worthy nonprofits to direct the money to one place. He also stated that the sale of the Palin SUV for nearly 5 times its worth is just good business.
He said: "If you can get some dollars back for it, you should try, in my mind. That's just business."