LONGVIEW, Texas (Legal Newsline) - Ted Nugent won't be rocking Longview's 4th of July festival this summer, as the city opted to pay him not to show up amid the controversy surrounding Nugent's appearance with Texas gubernatorial candidate and Attorney General Greg Abbott.
Abbot's Democratic counterpart, state Sen. Wendy Davis, issued a Friday press release stating the city of Longview decided to cancel the controversial classic rocker's appearance.
The Longview festival will include musical acts performed at the Maude Cobb Convention Center. Event organizers reached out to several artists in hopes of booking them to perform. One of those artists was Nugent.
According to the press release, Maude Cobb staff had reached a verbal agreement with Nugent to perform at the festival. Nugent's guaranteed performance fee is $32,000. In order to cancel with him, the city paid the singer $16,000 out of the Maude Cobb's annual budget not to appear.
When asked about payment to the rocker in order to cancel, Longview Pubic Information Officer Shawn Hara said Nugent was, "not the right feel for this kind of community event."
Hara says the $16,000 payout to Nugent will not impact the city's ability to pay for the festival, but it does affect Maude Cobb's budget.
A spokesperson for Nugent told KLTV Friday that the Longview event was never on the singer's calendar and that he did not know anything about it.
In February, Abbott made an appearance with Nugent at a voter turnout rally. That same month, the controversial singer called President Obama a "subhuman mongrel," drawing criticism from prominent Republicans, including Gov. Rick Perry and Sen. Ted Cruz.
From Legal Newsline: Reach David Yates at firstname.lastname@example.org.