Being this is my home town and the city spokesperson mentioned in the article is a friend of mine and we discussed the situation this weekend. Much if this article is very much wrong. The primary reason to break the contract was not due to Nugent's comments initially but due to contract costs (over $30K for an appearance) and a poorly planned contract. The city was already negotiating to break the contract when the local OFA & NAACP crowd led by a Vik Verma decided to flex some muscle. He has been a nasty player in local politics and is bringing Chicago thuggery to a normally Conservative town.
The initial thought by most of the city council was that Nugent was just a performer and his comments like this shouldn't be taken any more seriously than one would a comment from a pro wrestler. The council was originally going to Nugent to be a headliner for our Alley Fest in May. The 4th celebration came up due to scheduling. The 4th though came at a much higher cost. Unfortunately some in the city had already initiated the contract so Nugent's camp was going to get paid for any change or break no matter what due to contract terms.
The is when Vik and the OFA crowd jumped in. They were demanding not only a formal apology from the city, but a formal 'equal time' on stage by making the claim that it was a political event, not musical. Threats of lawsuits against the city by OFA and the NAACP demanding equal time were thrown out and they even brought in the new newspaper editor (big lib) to emphasize what kind of PR flack they would cause for the city.
The city decided based on this, they would just continue with plans to cancel the contract due to the scheduling and cost issue and not deal with the OFA antics. Vik and OFA wasn't happy with this and worked with the paper to create the story that it was about Nugent's comments.
Side note, Vik and crowd started this the day Wendy Davis was in town so they were capitalizing on the media's attention. Normally, this would have just been a case of a poorly negotiated contract and would never have made the news.