Thank you for your interest in my campaign for district court judge.  My reasons
for running are very simple.  I feel I have a lot to offer the Ramsey County court
system, and I believe I will be a better judge.  I have pledged not to do any negative
campaigning, and I will stick to that pledge.  I have been approached by many 
and groups who are not happy with the job that Michael Fetsch has been doing.  I
am not aligned or endorsed by any of these, nor do I intend to pursue any type of
agenda on their behalf.  Suffice it to say that there is a lot of negative campaigning
that I could be doing but am choosing not to.  I am running strictly on my merits
to serve, and because I would like to improve on the way things are currently being
done.  I believe I am more approachable, articulate, down-to-earth, courteous, 
energetic, kind,
and diplomatic than my opponent, and I will make an excellent judge for Ramsey County.
I hope you will vote for me on November 2nd.

To respond to Joelle, you are correct that I did not give complete answers to some of 
the issue-oriented questions presented by Minnesota Lawyer.  This is because Cannon 5 
of the Minnesota Code of Judicial Conduct places strict ethical restrictions on what 
judicial candidates may say and do.  Candidates are not allowed to make any pleges or 
promises of any particular conduct they will undertake when in office.  Candidates are 
also discouraged from speaking out on any disputed legal or political issues, 
particularly issues that may possibly come before them as judge.  I believe the 
reasoning behind these rules is sound and promotes an impartial and independent 
judiciary.  Voters should not be choosing candidates based on their views on disputed 
issues, because judges have no authority to champion those views when in office.  
Judges take an oath to uphold the law and constitution objectively, without regard to 
their personal beliefs or convictions.  Speaking out on issues may mislead voters into 
believing that a judge will advocate for those positions when in office, which of 
course, an ethical judge cannot do.  The idea is that judges should be chosen based 
not on their political views, but on their integrity, experience, and committment to 
justice.  These principles were discussed at a recent Continuing Legal Education 
course I attended on judicial ethics.  I might add that there were very few, if any, 
sitting judges in attendance.  

I ended up on this forum unintentionally when one of my supporters posted my 
information to the list.  However, I welcome the opportunity to participate in this 
lively dialogue.  I hope you will read more about me on my website at

-----Original Message-----
From: Joelle <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Sent: Oct 27, 2004 8:15 AM
To: "St. Paul Discuss" <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
Subject: Re: [StPaul] Sifferle For Ramsey County Judge??

I'll weigh in on this one.

I am aware of the problem of judicial elections and I agree that we
definately need to work to make contested judicial races more common
and learn more about the judges who are appointed (as almost all of
them are, because of the way they work the system.)

However, I must say that I was quite unimpressed with Patricia's
responses to the Minnesota Lawyer questionaire.
( - educate yourself!) 

She answered the question "What are the major issues facing the court
on which you wish to serve? How can these realistically be addressed?"
With "See below" but I saw nothing "below" that answered that question
sufficiantly for me.

The only thing after that was that she thought that Judges should not
opine about political or legal issues from the bench.

Is that the only major issue facing our judicial system in her eyes? If
so then she sees the judicial system much differently than I. 

Now, granted, I could have emailed her and asked her that, but she had
a forum on which to respond to this question and she did not. 

She also did not discuss at all the issue of uncontested judicial races
which you site as your major reason for voting for her.

I am unimpressed.

Joelle Tegwen
West Side

--- John Birrenbach <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> wrote:
> We all know these judges go unchallenged and an uncontested election 
> is not democracy.   Frankly I wish more lawyers would step up to the 
> plate and run against these judges.  But many will tell you they 
> don't want to run against an incumbent judge who might hear a case 
> they have if they loose to them.  So I have to hand it to someone who
> actually has the guts to run against a judge.
> I don't think I know Judge Fetsch, can't recall him from anything I 
> have ever seen so have no reason to believe he is a bad judge, I also
> have no reason to believe he is a good one either.  Maybe if more 
> people start to challenge these judges then we will learn more about 
> the incumbents because they will have to run a campaign and tell 
> people what they do.  Right now once your appointed to a seat on the 
> bench, your there for life baby (well unless a seat on a higher court
> comes open and you get appointed to that).

Help bring them home!

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