FEC indicates Huckabee himself must pay for unauthorized use of 'Eye of the Tiger' | Arkansas Blog

Saturday, June 18, 2016

FEC indicates Huckabee himself must pay for unauthorized use of 'Eye of the Tiger'

Posted By on Sat, Jun 18, 2016 at 7:42 AM

click to enlarge FATEFUL DAY: Mike Huckabee with Kim Davis on the day his campaign made the expensive decision to play "Eye of the Tiger" at a campaign rally.
  • FATEFUL DAY: Mike Huckabee with Kim Davis on the day his campaign made the expensive decision to play "Eye of the Tiger" at a campaign rally.

The Federal Election Commission this week released a draft opinion that says Mike Huckabee should not be able to use a legal defense fund to pay a legal settlement he reached for unauthorized use of the song "Eye of the Tiger" at a campaign rally.

The Arkansas Times reported last month that Huckabee had reached a settlement — terms undisclosed — in a federal court in Illinois in the lawsuit by Frank Sullivan III, co-author of the song by Survivor that rose to fame in "Rocky III."

Huckabee played the song at a Kentucky campaign rally Sept. 8 at which he appeared with Kim Davis, the county clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.

Since the settlement, Huckabee's Washington law firm  has been seeking FEC approval to use a legal defense fund to pay for his attorney fees and a portion of the settlement, which Huckabee has personally guaranteed. 

The draft opinion, which will be up for final approval June 30, indicates the FEC isn't inclined to go along.

No, the Fund may not be used as described in the request to pay the Committee’s legal fees or settlement obligation arising out of the copyright infringement lawsuit.

The Act provides that “a candidate . . . , [or] agent of a candidate . . . shall not . . . receive, direct, transfer, or spend . . . funds in connection with an election for Federal office . . . unless the unds are subject to the limitations, prohibitions, and reporting requirements of this Act.”

Here, the Fund proposes to pay a settlement obligation that Governor Huckabee has personally guaranteed. Paying Governor Huckabee’s debt on his behalf is functionally and legally indistinguishable from making a disbursement to Governor Huckabee himself. 
The  draft opinion added, because the litigation is connected to the election campaign, money may be used for legal costs, but the legal defense fund "may not receive or spend funds that do not comply with the source prohibitions, amount limitations, and reporting requirements of the Act." This means, it seems,  that contributions to the fund would be limited by the usual campaign contribution limits. A pre-existing maximum giver couldn't contribute more for the legal fees, for example.

The FEC will accept comments on the draft opinion through June 29 and Huckabee's representative can appear before the Commission to present additional information or contest the opinion, signed by FEC Chair Matthew Petersen.

UPDATE:
According to an FEC campaign filing quoted in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Huckabee agreed to pay $12,500 to settle the copyright lawsuit. His campaign also paid at least $3,000 in fees to the law firm that defended him in the copyright case. He's paid more than $50,000 to the Washington law firm that is representing him before the FEC, but it's not clear how much of that billing, if any, is for the FEC work and how much for other legal services.

Tags: , , , , ,


Favorite

Comments (25)

Showing 1-25 of 25

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-25 of 25

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Clarke Tucker challenges French HIll to series of debates

    Clarke Tucker, the Democratic candidate for 2nd District Congress, has called on Republican incumbent Rep. French Hill to reconsider his refusal to participate in a televised debate in September and to join him for a series of three debates.
    • Aug 15, 2018
  • Abduction suspect arrested during threatened jump from bridge

    Danny Trent Barrows, 38, wanted for abducting his child earlier in the week, was arrested Wednesday as he attempted to jump off an Interstate 49 bridge near Mountainburg.
    • Aug 15, 2018
  • Wage campaign reports financial backer

    Arkansans for a Fair Wage, the committee backing an increase in the state minimum wage, reported this month a $350,000 contribution from the Sixteen Thirty Fund, a Washington-based nonprofit that has funded advocacy campaigns for social and environmental causes around the country.
    • Aug 15, 2018
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Trump immigration protest at LR: Quick and fierce

    It was not even 24 hours ago that Sophia Said, director of the Interfaith Center; City Director Kathy Webb and others decided to organize a protest today of Donald Trump's executive order that has left people from Muslim countries languishing in airports or unable to come to the US at all — people with visas, green cards,a  post-doc graduate student en route to Harvard, Google employees abroad, families. I got the message today before noon; others didn't find out until it was going on. But however folks found out, they turned out in huge numbers, more than thousand men, women and children, on the grounds of the state Capitol to listen to speakers from all faiths and many countries.
    • Jan 29, 2017
  • LR Police Chief Buckner in running for Charleston, S.C. job

    KATV reports that Little Rock Police Chief Kenton Buckner is one of five finalists for the job of police chief in Charleston, S.C., and will be visit Charleston next week as part of the process.
    • Feb 2, 2018
  • Tom Cotton's influence on Trump's new security chief

    U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton is getting credit for pushing President Donald Trump to select Lt. Gen. H.R. McMaster as his national security adviser, Politico reports.
    • Feb 21, 2017

Most Viewed

Most Recent Comments

Slideshows

 

© 2018 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation