2 'Obongo' supporters fired in Utah

Jan. 18, 2013 at 1:15 PM
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CEDAR CITY, Utah, Jan. 18 (UPI) -- A Cedar City, Utah, forensics company owner says he fired two employees because they were supporters of President Obama, and he called the president an "idiot."

Terry Lee, who owns Terry Lee Forensics, said in a comments section of The Salt Lake Tribune Thursday he fired the two because he could not afford to pay for their healthcare coverage under the Affordable Care Act -- commonly known as Obamacare -- which he refers to as "Obongocare."

"Love it. We had to let two employees go to cover new Obongocare costs and increased taxes," Lee wrote. "Found two Obongo supporters and gave them the news yesterday. They wanted the idiot in the Whitehouse [sic], they reap the benefits."

When the Tribune contacted Lee about the post, he said the workers' political affiliation was just one reason he chose them.

"They were Obama supporters. We just knew they were," Lee said. "I implied that sort of tongue and cheek [in the comments section] but there were other issues, too. They were not top performers."

Lee said he wasn't sure whether a worker's political affiliation is protected free speech. The newspaper said federal and Utah law does not prohibit private-sector employers from firing someone on the basis of political affiliation.

Lee's original post had been intended to show support for the owner of a smoothie bar in Vernal, Utah, who said he was charging liberals extra to get money to pay the cost of liberal government policies.

"[Liberals are] costing us money," shop owner George Burnett told the Tribune. "So it only seems fair that I charge them a little bit more."

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