Ted Nugent has been paid $16,250 not to play at the Fourth of July celebrations for an East Texas city.
The rocker was being considered as the headliner for Longview’s event to mark United States’ independence, however city officials have now decided to end negotiations.
Nugent’s controversial song lyrics and comments have led to this decision, but he still pockets half of his guaranteed performance fee of $32,000 because they broke a verbal agreement with him.
During a campaign swing with Greg Abbott, the Texas gubernatorial candidate, Nugent’s comments, which saw him call President Barack Obama a “subhuman mongrel,” back in January, were used by the press against the politician. In February, these remarks resurfaced and Abbott was forced to clarify that he didn’t endorse Nugent’s language.
Shawn Hara, Longview’s spokesman, has since informed the Longview News-Journal that there were other reasons for Nugent’s dismissal.
“(There were) a variety of reasons. Cost, structure, is it the right musical act for this type of event – a city-sponsored, family-oriented overall event,” he said. “They decided no, we don’t want to move forward, it is not the right act for this. At that point we decided to end discussions.”
Hara added that city leaders became embroiled in a dispute over how far along the groups were in the process. “We had, basically, a dispute amongst ourselves, the promoter working with us, and a booking agency about where were we are in all these discussions,” she noted. “Their basic claim was… ‘You can’t just simply walk away.'”
Mayor Jay Dean stated that Nugent simply didn’t fit in with the “family orientated program.” He explained, “That didn’t really fit what we trying to put together, a family oriented program… and I confirmed with his thoughts that that probably wasn’t the right act. And I still feel that it was the right decision. It just didn’t fit with what we were trying to put together.”
Keith Rothra, the incumbent chairman of the Gregg County Republican Party, believes that Nugents omission is a direct result of his Obama insult. “It’s directly related to the state level stuff,” he proclaimed.
The city manager’s office has since decided to get involved in the negotiation process because of this confusion, however they have admitted that no disciplinary action has been taken against city staffers involved. 2014’s Fireworks and Freedom Celebration will be the second event that Longview have arranged to mark the 4th of July.
[Image via Doug James/Shutterstock]