US newspaper paints unflattering picture of Palin
Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is a tyrannical woman who pursues vendettas and fires people who cross her, The New York Times said Sunday, reported dpa.
This picture emerges from a review of public records and her two years as governor of Alaska as well as interviews with 60 Republican and Democratic legislators and local officials, the newspaper said.
Republican presidential candidate John McCain has seen his popularity rise since he picked Palin as his running mate two-and-a- half weeks ago.
But critics have called into question her qualifications because of her lack of experience in national politics as well as on the international stage.
It has also been disclosed the Congress in Alaska is looking into claims she fired a senior state employee because he refused to dismiss her brother-in-law, who had separated from her sister.
This was not an isolated case, according to the newspaper, which said Palin surrounded herself with friends who did what they were told.
It said Governor Palin hired at least five schoolmates for official positions at salaries that far exceeded their private sector wages.
One of these, a former real estate agent, was made director of the State Division of Agriculture after citing her childhood love of cows as a qualification for the job.
In another incident, one of Palin's assistants telephoned a critical blogger and told her to stop her activities. "You should be ashamed," the aide was quoted by the Times as saying.
The report also quoted a builder in the town of Wasilla, where Palin served as mayor, who said he complained to her when the city attorney put a stop-work order on his housing project.
The mayor responded by engineering the attorney's firing, the builder told the newspaper.
In another case, Palin fired a former high school classmate after learning he had fallen in love with another longtime friend.
The report also claimed that Palin and her top aides sometimes used personal email accounts for state business in a bid to see whether this would allow them to circumvent court orders seeking public records.