A federal judge today ordered payment of $32.4 million in damages in a case involving improper robocalls narrated by former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee promoting a religious-themed movie.
The AP reports that U.S. District Judge E. Richard Webber in St. Louis said in the ruling that Gabriel Joseph III of Virginia and his companies violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act by making commercial calls to more than 3.2 million recipients without consent.
“The calls made in 2012 promoted the movie ‘Last Ounce of Courage,’ a drama about the ‘war on Christmas.’ The calls in question begin with Huckabee — a Southern Baptist minister turned Republican politician who ran for president in 2008 and 2016 — saying he has a ’45-second survey,’ according to court documents,” the AP reports. “Huckabee was dismissed from the suit.”
the court documents state that Huckabee said in the calls: “Do you believe in American freedom and liberty? … Would you, like me, Mike Huckabee, like to see Hollywood respect and promote traditional American values? I am an enthusiastic supporter of a new movie called ‘Last Ounce of Courage.’ It is a film about faith, freedom, and taking a stand for American values.”
The report adds: “The Telephone Consumer Protection Act allows for a fine of $500 per violation; Webber’s ruling amounted to a fine of $10 per call.”