News

PDC dismisses complaints against Svardh

The Washington State Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) has dismissed multiple complaints against North Kitsap resident Michael Svardh, with regard to allegedly false and biased statements he made during the 2002 county elections.

The complaint cited nine statements, all of which were ruled to not violate disclosure laws. The ruling took so long due to “difficulty....in verifying the factual basis for many of the statements...that were the subject of the complaint” according to a letter sent to Svardh from the PDC.

Svardh said he was happy about the ruling, that it served to clear his name.

“When you reported this back in 2002 you ran a six inch by eight inch story about the charges,” Svardh said. “I would hope you’d give me that amount of space to say they were dismissed.”

In the ruling, the PDC maintained many of these statements reflected only Svardh’s opinion and were protected by free speech.

The PDC also dismissed a complaint by consultant Jim King, who disagreed with the assertion he was affiliated with North Kitsap Commissioner Chris Endresen in her efforts to turn Old Man House over to the Suquamish Tribe.

While Svardh’s 2002 efforts were focused on defeating then-commissioner Tim Botkin, he has now taken on Endresen in her re-election bid. He has sponsored a web site (www.fireenedresen.com) and has attempted to enter his “Fire Endresen” cannon in several local parades.

The web site contains approximately 11,000 words on a single page, most criticizing Endresen for one transgression or another. When asked what percentage of the assertions on the site were 100 percent accurate, he said “there is no such thing as 100 percent accurate. It depends on who you talk to. There are some people who might say my links are wrong.”

Botkin, who still quarrels with Svardh’s accuracy, said he did not know how these assertions influenced the election results.

“At the time I didn’t think anyone was listening to him,” Botkin said. “His allegations were pretty out there. Did I underestimate him? I underestimated something.”

Botkin feels that Svardh’s tactics obscure intelligent discourse.

“He presents outrageous things and when he’s corrected he says ‘oh, I didn’t know that.’ It’s one thing to agree to disagree. But this level of attacking on the local level is disturbing. Where will it end?”

While Svardh said he had the same burden of proof as a journalist, he admitted that “mistakes do happen.” He also seems to value expediency over accuracy.

“You need to go with the information you have, when you have it,” he said. “It depends on your comfort level with the information but if there is something important, like an election, you need to put it out. The other option is to say nothing and stay home.”

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Read the latest Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Jul 18 edition online now. Browse the archives.