FEC Rules Huckabee Must Pay $25,000 of his Own Money for Using ‘Eye of the Tiger’

by Jen Hayden –

huckabee davis staver

While campaigning to woo America’s most gullible voters, Mike Huckabee held a campaign stop outside a Kentucky jail on the day Rowan County Kim Davis was released. She went straight from the jail to the stage, with Huckabee lauding her release as a victory for “freedom of religion,” vowing to fight to overturn marriage equality.

Mike Huckabee gave an enthusiastic introduction to the embroiled county clerk and the song “Eye of the Tiger” was blaring from the loudspeakers as she made her way to the stage (video below). The band Survivor was not happy and they sued Mike Huckabee for copyright infringement. They settled out of court, but Huckabee tried to pass the $25,000 off to his failed presidential campaign:

They settled out of court, and it came to light when Huckabee listed the $25,000 cost as a campaign expense on federal election records. A payment to Rude Music is listed as a “legal settlement” for “copyright infringement.” 

Huckabee paid half of it in May and listed the $12,500 payment as an “itemized disbursement.” He listed the other half as “debts and obligations.” Both appear on a June 20 filing.

Huckabee tried to have it both ways, claiming it was a religious rally and then passing it off to his presidential campaign:

In court, Huckabee argued that the anti-gay-rights rally was a “religious assembly… signifying joy and praise at the release of Mrs. Davis” from jail. A religious event would classify the act of playing the song as “noncommercial” and allow him to cite “fair use” — letting him play part of the song without paying for it.

But that argument fell apart when the songwriter’s lawyer pointed out that Huckabee claimed the rally as a presidential campaign expense.

Late last week, the Federal Elections commission ruled that he had to use his own personal funds, not campaign funds to pay the $25,00 settlement. Since Huckabee basically ended up buying the usage rights, let’s all enjoy this ridiculous moment one last time: