Mike Huckabee is in some financial hot water for playing “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor at a Kim Davis rally. Huckabee famously played the iconic tune at a rally for Kim Davis after the Kentucky county clerk was released from jail. She had been jailed for a few days for a contempt of court charge stemming from her refusal to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples following last summer’s Supreme Court ruling that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide.
The rally took place in September, reports the Washington Times, and it was organized in support of Kim Davis by Mike Huckabee. Huckabee was formerly the governor of Arkansas — at the time of the Kim Davis rally, he was a Republican presidential contender. He dropped out of the 2016 presidential race back in February of 2016, and he was never a top candidate, but Mike Huckabee had hoped to bolster his lackluster campaign with support from conservatives. He hoped to garner that support by attaching himself to Kim Davis’ notoriety, as her actions were widely supported in the evangelical and Republican communities.
After Mike Huckabee played the Rocky theme at last September’s Kim Davis rally, the song’s owners took serious offense to the public use of their intellectual property. According to all reports, Huckabee never sought the band’s permission to use the popular song to serenade Kim Davis and her supporters. Indeed, Rude Music, owners of “Eye of the Tiger,” sued Huckabee for copyright infringement for publicly playing the song without consent.
Ultimately, the company settled out of court with Mike Huckabee, and just last week it came to light that he ended up being on the hook for $25,000 for his abuse of copyrighted material. According to a CNNMoney report, former Governor Mike Huckabee listed the $25,000 settlement as a “campaign expense,” per federal election records released on June 20.
According to the report, Mike Huckabee has only paid half of the copyright infringement costs associated with aligning himself with Kim Davis. Reportedly, Huckabee paid $12,500 toward the copyright infringement debt in May. At the time, he listed the Kim Davis-associated expense as an “itemized disbursement.”
On the same paperwork, Mike Huckabee listed the remaining $12,500 owed as “debts and obligations.”
Reportedly, Mike Huckabee has petitioned the Federal Election Commission to allow the former governor to create a legal defense fund to pay off the remaining $12,500 “Eye of the Tiger” settlement debt. The FEC reportedly responded by telling Mike Huckabee that he himself should pay for using copyrighted material without permission at a Kim Davis rally.
Raw Story reports that Mike Huckabee and his campaign diligently and fervently tried to get out of paying for the use of the copyrighted material. The campaign argued that the Kim Davis rally was a “religious assembly,” and therefore not bound by legal requirements to pay for the use of the song. In a nutshell, Mike Huckabee and his toadies claimed that the Kim Davis rally was “non-commercial.”
“[The anti-gay rally] was a religious assembly… signifying joy and praise at the release of Mrs. Davis.”
Unfortunately for Mike and his campaign finances, the Mike Huckabee campaign had already claimed that the Kim Davis rally was a campaign event and used campaign funds to pay for the event on behalf of the Mike Huckabee presidential campaign.
Apparently, Mr. Huckabee’s failed presidential campaign is still suffering from significant financial difficulties. Mike Huckabee’s presidential bid has been over since he dropped out of the race on February 1, however he’s still struggling to pay off the costs of his failed political aspirations, including the settlement for playing “Eye of the Tiger” at his politically-motivated Kim Davis rally.
[Photo by Ty Wright/Getty Images]