Friday, March 28, 2014

Ted Nugent Becomes the Center of a Dispute with City of Longview

Nugent dispute leads to crowded city council meeting

Longview residents packed City Council chambers to ask for information about the Ted Nugent issue on Thursday, March 27th. Comments ranged from calling for the resignation of the mayor and city manager to the termination of employees responsible for the discussions to hire Nugent, while others offered support for the city and its processes.

"The citizens of Longview in solidarity showed up with over 120 in attendance for our cause: Equality under law," said Branden Johnson, Longview NAACP president.

Steve Crane said the problem had more to do with city leadership than with Nugent himself.  “The problem is that people in the city of Longview, people in leadership positions, felt that it was OK to invite somebody like Ted Nugent to this city for a city-wide celebration,” Crane said.  He also drew a stark comparison to the money spent in ending negotiations.  “That is more money than one minimum wage worker earns in 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year ... That is a lot of money,” he said.

Vik Verma said Longview’s culture is wrong if “the selection of Ted Nugent to perform at the city Fourth of July celebration was acceptable and even desired by some.”

Branden Johnson, president of the Longview NAACP, said the group planned to hold symposiums to encouraged “the ignored to get involved with this governmental process.  The hope of diversity under the current Longview administration appears anecdotal,” Johnson said.

Johnson urged those who attended to ensure their voices are heard along with the 120 standing in solidarity.  "You can email Mayor Jay Dean with your thoughts and express your most poignant and respectful opinions," said Johnson. "He can be emailed at"


Ted Nugent Responds to Longview Allegations
Longview News Journal Article: Posted: Tuesday, March 25, 2014

“I hear from reliable sources that the mayor is a racist and was offended that my band performs mostly African-American-influenced music,” Nugent was quoted as saying in a column that appeared Saturday in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “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. We shall carry on. We are the good guys. Clueless, dishonest people like the mayor are the bad guys.”

Dean said Tuesday he was unaware of the allegations and declined to comment.  Nugent’s response came as the Longview NAACP was urging residents to attend Thursday’s meeting of the Longview City Council.

“TedGate must be explained,” the NAACP said on its Facebook page. “The people demand answers and the unveiling of any clandestine ongoings.”

Branden Johnson, president of the nonprofit organization, said people must understand the importance getting civically engaged.

“Anything that can get people to come out is good for me; I don’t care if it’s negative or positive. People need to hear directly instead of through another source, or watching it on TV or reading it in the paper,” Johnson said. “I would be willing to bet that there are more people in Longview that oppose Ted Nugent’s antics than are for them.”


Longview pays off rocker Ted Nugent to not perform
Longview News Journal Article: Posted: Tuesday, March 22, 2014

Longview officials paid Ted Nugent’s agents $16,250 to stop talks about making him the headliner for the city’s July 4 Fireworks and Freedom Celebration.  The payoff came as Nugent’s earlier comments and song lyrics became a political issue during a campaign swing with Texas GOP gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott. But city officials have said the move was more about the propriety of Nugent’s show for a family oriented Independence day festival than that controversy.

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