Big Isle man was 1 of 5 fired by Palin
HONOLULU » When Sarah Palin became mayor of Wasilla, Alaska, one of her first actions was to fire the city's museum director, John Cooper, who to this day is not a fan of the Republican vice presidential candidate.
Cooper, 67, now a substitute teacher on the Big Island, was one of five department heads Palin asked to resign as she instituted her own team to run the city.
"She's a nice-looking woman, she can be affable, but she's single-minded, in my opinion, and vengeful," said Cooper, who moved from Wasilla shortly after losing his job.
Cooper, a self-described "bleeding-heart liberal" and a strong supporter of Democrat Barack Obama, said he was a casualty of Palin's heavy-handed style that he said emphasized political loyalty over good work.
He gave several reasons for his dismissal: a $125 campaign donation to the previous mayor, his political beliefs and an expansion of museum programs that displeased small-government Republicans.
Cooper describes his forced departure as a "casualty of Sarah Palin's rise to political prominence." He said he received obscene phone calls from her "right-winger" allies.
A spokeswoman for Palin said she brought reform to Wasilla by breaking up political cronyism and boosting growth.
"It's not surprising that members of the establishment were upset that Gov. Palin bucked the status quo by putting the people before politics," said spokeswoman Maria Comella.