Ted Nugent called the mayor of Longview, Texas, a racist after the city paid $16,250 to keep him from being considered as a headliner for a Fourth of July concert.
“I hear from reliable sources that the mayor is a racist and was offended that my band performs mostly African-American-influenced music,” Mr. Nugent, 65, told the Star-Telegram. “Sounds like a sad case of anti-Texas in Texas.”
“Everyone knows ol’ Uncle Ted is the ultimate Independence Day rockout with the ultimate all-American, soul music, rockin’ soundtrack of defiance, liberty and freedom,” he said. “We shall carry on. We are the good guys. Clueless, dishonest people like the mayor are the bad guys.”
By breaking contract negotiations with Mr. Nugent, the city of Longview had to pay the controversial rocker half of the $32,000 he was guaranteed as a performance fee.
The decision came after Mr. Nugent called President Obama a “subhuman mongrel,” which became an issue this year during a campaign swing with Texas gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott.
City spokesman Shawn Hara said the controversy was just one of several factors that led to the cancellation.
“[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,” Mr. Hara told the Longview News-Journal. “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.”
Mayor Jay Dean said the city manager’s office had contacted him with concerns about contracting with Mr. Nugent.
“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,” Mr. Dean told the News-Journal. “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, outgoing chairman of the Gregg County Republican Party, said he didn’t buy the city’s explanation that Mr. Nugent’s comments were just one of several reasons they broke off talks.
“We have paid $16,000 to Ted Nugent for political correctness,” he said.
“He is working hard to promote Sid Miller as our next commissioner of agriculture and Greg Abbott as our next governor,” Mr. Smith said.