AKMuckraker who blogs at The Mudflats first describes one of the leading bidders at the time, a man named Ken Morris, as 'Wall Street whiz, trader-turned-financial-thriller-novelist'. The very reasonable reasons he cites for his bid include asking Sarah some questions about healthcare equaling socialism, palling around with terrorists, etc.
AKMuckraker then cites the auction rules
Governor Palin reserves the right to refuse dinner with a winning bidder if, in her sole discretion, the winning bidder is not a suitable bidder based on her subjective standards of suitability, professionalism, background and other factors. In the event the high bidder is rejected for this reason, the high bidder's bid will be refunded, if paid, and the next highest bidder shall be notified, and thereafter, until a suitable match is determined.
and concludes that Morris would get nixed.
That brings us to our second candidate, dubbed c***i by the Ebay alias assignment team, and known to those in the outside world as Joe McGinnis. McGinnis, also an author by trade is best known for his books The Making of the President about Richard Nixon, and Going to Extremes, about Alaska, oil and the 1970s pipeline boom. McGinnis is an outspoken critic of Palin, evidenced most recently by his article for Conde Nast's Portfolio entitled Pipe Dreams, which cast a critical eye on Palin's handling of the ever-elusive Alaska gasline. McGinniss is currently working on a book whose focus will be the ex-governor herself.
Nearing the end of the auction, he had the highest bid -- $60,101.01. But then his identity was revealed. When he returned to Ebay to up his bid, he found out that he had been dis-pre-approved.
The actual winner, Cathy Maples, is described as 'the owner of a defense contracting company in Alabama', who thinks SP 'is pretty swell'.
Remember that the winner would have to pay his or her own expenses to travel to the undisclosed location of the dinner.
Then, something else odd happened. The location was revealed -- it's Alabama!
McGinnis wrote Ms Maples a nice note and Morris says he'll make a donation to the charity anyway.
Now, that's classy.