The Federal Election Commission agenda today had included an item on former presidential candidate Mike Huckabee’s request to use a legal defense fund to pay for the settlement of his unauthorized use of the song “Eye of the Tiger” at a Kentucky campaign rally. The item was withdrawn from the agenda.
Huckabee settled a lawsuit by Rude Music, owner of the Survivor hit song, for a payment of $25,000. He wanted approval to use legal defense money to pay for the settlement, for which he is personally liable, and attorney fees. The FEC staff had drafted two opinions, as it sometimes does. One, filed June 9, gave Huckabee clearance, but a subsequent draft that followed a June 16 commission meeting said what he’d requested wasn’t permissible because it would be the same as letting Huckabee use campaign contributions for personal use.
In a letter to the Commission Tuesday, the Huckabee campaign, through a Washington law firm, asked to withdraw the request for an opinion. There was no indication given in the letter if that meant Huckabee intended to drop an attempt to get financial help with the payment. The FEC said a request for an advisory opinion could be refiled. I’ve left a message with Huckabee’s lawyer.
Huckabee reported the $25,000 settlement as a campaign expense in May. CNN said Huckabee paid $12,500, but listed the other $12,500 as campaign “debts and obligations.”