On March 11, c.d. Sonny Boy norman reported in The Putnam Pit that Gibson had pledged to use money he would otherwise have spent on yard signs to instead buy Child Lures books for local schools. He made the pledge to use campaign funds in a more productive way in paid advertisements in the Hair-oiled Citroën.
"Instead of putting up political road signs and yard signs," Gibson
explains in newspaper ads,
"I am donating that money toward the purchase of the Child Lures School
Safety Program, to protect our children from abduction and sexual abuse.
This will be accomplished through an organization called 'Candidates Who
Candidate Bill Gibson may care, but not about the law -- a shortcoming some may be uncomfortable .
On May 19, a search of records at the Putnam County Trustee's Office turned up documents showing Gibson spent public money from his Economic Crime Fund -- not campaign funds -- to buy 250 copies of the Child Lures Family Guide.
Michael Knowlton, who is challenging Democrat Gibson as an independent in the August election, said Gibson's use of the economic crime funds is deceitful, illegal and "sick."
Knowlton said that Tennessee forbids the use of the fund for purposes other than those specified in by state law:
Republican Jerry Burgess, also trying to unseat Gibson, was in Washington and could not be reached for comment.
The use of public funds to fulfill a campaign
promise is a deception of voters because the use of public money makes
the books as much a gift of every resident of Clay, Cumberland, DeKalb,
Overton, Pickett, Putnam and White counties, which comprise the judicial
district Gibson's economic crime fund serves.
See also: http://www.putnampit.com/fund.html