I do not know Ms. Sifferle (I think), but I am compelled by the presence of
this endorsement of her candidacy to question as to why she is opposing the
re-election of Judge Michael Fetsch.

While Patricia Sifferle may well be qualified to serve, it is more than
imperative that she state her reasons for why we should unseat an eminently
fair and extraordinarily competent jurist like Mike Fetsch.

It is customary, especially for nonpartisan seats on the District Court,
that challengers to an incumbent judge standing for reelection (or election,
if appointed) present cogent reasons for doing so, and I challenge Ms.
Sifferle to state those reasons.

This comes from her website:
"It is the judge¹s job to maintain the public confidence in the justice
system, and to maintain courtesy and civility in the courtroom at all

"I believe that judges should remain independent and neutral - not beholden
to any special interests. I have therefore chosen not to seek or accept
endorsements from any groups, individuals, or corporations."

Does Ms. Sifferle oppose Michael Fetsch because she believe he has violated
these tenets? If so, which ones and what are the specifics?

She also states her credo:

"I believe that all judges should administer the law and constitution
objectively and impartially, without regard to their personal beliefs or
convictions, and without regard to race, sex, religion, disability, or class
status. Judges should constantly look for new ways to improve the
efficiency and effectiveness of the court system. This means listening to
the views of litigants, court staff, attorneys and the public. It also
means being open to trying new and innovative solutions. I also believe
that, in these times of shrinking budgets and increasing case loads, more
emphasis should be placed on resolving disputes short of trial - through
mediation, arbitration, or negotiation."

All this is excellent and true - but again, tell us why Judge Fetsch has
failed in any one of these areas of your concern from the bench or anywhere

Now, it's my turn:

I've known Mike Fetsch for 60+ years. He even hassled me during our grade
school days at St. Luke's parochial school before we became good friends.
And, although we don't socialize much these days, Mike's record as a solid
jurist is renown in local legal circles (to which I am also intimately
connected through citizenship and an attorney-brother and his wife, a Ramsey
County judge's clerk). Fetsch's work record as an attorney for hundreds of
underdog cases is among the most respected in Minnesota - part of which led
to his initial appointment by a governor not of his political party.

Mike is a calm, evenhanded judge, in keeping with his brush with the
priesthood the schooling for which he stopped just one year shy of
ordination many years ago. This is a jurist who has earned his credentials
in the streets, in courtroom and on the bench and deserves

In my experience, lawyers who step forward to challenge a sitting jurist
have either been put up to it by an organization wanting their point of view
dominating the bench (which would refute Ms. Sifferle's stated tenets) or a
personal or professional beef with the incumbent. If any of these are true
of Ms. Sifferle, I'd like her to state them openly. If she brings up fair
cause to unseat Mike Fetsch, let the campaign determine their validity
and/or importance.

Andy Driscoll
Summit Hill

Date: Mon, 25 Oct 2004 15:15:41 -0500
From: John Birrenbach <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>

Message forwarded to list:
Please visit http://www.patriciasifferle.org

Dear friends and supporters:

As you know, I'm seeking the position of judge in the Ramsey County
District Court, simply because I feel I have a lot to offer.  Last
week, the Pioneer Press said, "Sifferle has a great deal to offer as
a potential judge."

With only one week until the election, my feet are getting VERY sore
from campaigning!  So I thought I would try to help spread the word
through an e-mail.  My website has complete information about me and
my candidacy for district court judge.  If you're interested, please
visit it at


I'm wondering if you would consider helping me out by passing this
e-mail along to anyone you know who may be interested, where
appropriate.  Please do not forward it to any state employees at
their work address, as this would violate state policy.
Thanks to everyone for your help, support, and encouragement thus
far.  I'll be sending out real thank-notes after the election!

Patricia Sifferle

P.S.  If you are interested in a lawn sign, or in volunteering for
canvassing this weekend, please let me know!  E-mail me at
mailto:[EMAIL PROTECTED]  It's not too late!

--end of forwarded email--

I and, more importantly my sane, wife both endorse and support and
wish Ms. Sifferle well in her bid to become a Ramsey County Judge.

John Birrenbach
W 7th Neighborhood, St Paul MN

------ End of Forwarded Message

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