Corporations and carpools

Jonathan Frieman, my new hero

I absolutely love this story: A Marin activist named Jonathan Frieman, who runs a small nonprofit corporation (the JoMiJo Foundation) was driving in the carpool lane on highway 101 in Marin when he was stopped by a cop and given a $478 ticket. Ah, but Frieman insists he wasn't driving alone; beside him in the car were the articles of incorporation and other relevant corporate paperwork for his foundation — and in the United States, corporations are considered people. In fact, the California Vehicle Code refers to “natural persons or corporations.”

So Frieman is challening his ticket in traffic court, and is willing to spend his own money to appeal the case as far as he can. He wants to force the courts to decide: If a corporation is a person, then it gets to ride with a driver in the carpool lane, and his ticket has to be dismissed. If it's not a person, then maybe it can't make political contributions.In fact, if a corporation isn't a person, a whole lot of evil stuff might come to an end.

Could a traffic fine be the ticket to that ruling? Who knows -- and at the very least, Frieman is helping point up the absurdity of the current state of the law.

This is no fluke, by the way: Frieman, a longtime community activist, has been looking for ways to challenge corporate personhood for more than a decade. He's convened legal scholars, looked for avenues to challenge the notion that corporations have the same rights as the rest of us -- and along the way, came up with this idea.

It's taken a while because the California Highway Patrol hasn't been all that vigilant. "I've been driving up and down 101 in the carpool lane with my corporate papers for years," Frieman told me. "I never got a ticket until October 2."

His first hearing is in Marin's traffic court in San Rafael on Jan. 7.



Heard him on Thom Hartmann today and it is brilliant! Best of success...

Posted by Gnarlodious on Jan. 08, 2013 @ 9:40 pm

The absurdity that “corporations are persons,” instead of realty or personalty, needs to be quashed, just as non-profit corporation boss Jonathan Frieman's over-confident mischief that unnecessarily interfered with the duties of the California Highway Patrol requires a citation with added enhancements.

Posted by Awayneramsey on Jan. 09, 2013 @ 12:47 pm

people (or "persons" as people keep amusingly referring to it as).

It said that in some limited cases, corporations may enjoy some of the same rights that people enjoy.

Posted by anon on Jan. 09, 2013 @ 1:00 pm

Your comment feigns a distinction, but without a difference.

Posted by @anon on Jan. 11, 2013 @ 12:30 pm

Corporations cannot vote, for instance, as people can.

But they share the right to free speech.

Posted by anon on Jan. 11, 2013 @ 12:56 pm

Now you're gainsaying. I'm done here.

Posted by Awayneramsey on Jan. 12, 2013 @ 10:47 am

Oct 2, being the birthday of Mohandas Gandhi is a good day to have one's civil disobedience noticed.

Posted by Aravinda on Jan. 24, 2013 @ 1:35 am

Agreed. Not to belabor an old thread too much --but the whole nonprofit /corporate /personhood goes straight back to Social Security Act, income taxes per se, not to mention federal jurisdiction. In short, it goes back to pre-WWI and WWII eras, things not taught too well in most urban OR suburban (public) schools, that I can tell.

Corporate personhood allows attraction of funding, while collecting income taxes up front creates this class system. So the huge (collective) investment platform, debt-based plays into real estate of course --and Guest is right. Either way, it goes to the landlords to favor gentrification, so real estate developers get connected closely to legislators and the courts, as in Los Angeles also.

See CAFR1(dot)com for an explanation of the investment platform concept and how ALL public pension funds play into providing this. Don't judge the messengers, judge the message! And/or another former sound engineer (LA? I DNK) turned CAFR reader, see realitybloger(wordpress).com.

Wage-earners can't keep up, especially when you add in any potential (or real) criminal connections; i.e., where do criminals invest their money (if not in real estate?).

Then there are the public officials creating private nonprofits to plan society, allegedly, for everyone's good, and health. I can speak for many who say that, it's not good for health (pollution or no pollution) to have one's work life at stake year after year, accumulating no assets... That's how I had to face the corporate/nonprofit mix. I'm not opposed to corporations -- but I'm also not stupid enough to believe that "social services" -- in the larger picture -- actually are. Every try and get some without selling your soul, or some relatives, or privacy? Guess where that data goes? To someone else's PsyD or federally and privately sponsored institute the better to indoctrinate the next generation with, while publishing and not perishing with the rest of us.

Lucretia Snapple also has it right. Push a progressive, or get on the wrong side of a cause, and you'll see regressive behavioral control freak. That's why I prefer corporate lookups to rhetorical debate. I got some in the family and trust me, they're Jekyll/Hyde psychotic: Our Rules for You/No Rules for Us. In my book, that's simply human rights violations, tyrants. It destroys things in order to create a utopia. Anyone who gets in the way of the theoretical utopia with flesh and blood realities, becomes immediately "sub-human" and an exception to any and all rules.

Guess what these (Berkeley-style) "liberals" did immediately, in a long-term strategy to dominate me as a single parent, and eventually strip me of contact with my chidlren (which then played into justifying further control of family wealth, as if I didn't notice the process)? The FIRST (devious) step taken was to manipulate outside control of my housing when I needed temporary housing help (see first comment/DV tends to destroy credit access; economic control is a characteristic) -- and then control the person that controlled MY housing. So real estate is a major, major factor in solvency. If you control real estate, you control what people generally speaking need for jobs (like, a place to sleep, a roof at night, other minor details). If they are having to move suddenly without much notice, that's going to affect jobs and bottom line.

The practice is bipartisan. If you want to cut through the crap, look at the books.

(Good luck getting a hold of them)..... This is why I keep saying the problem is the tax system per se -- it's a caste system that empowers the sociopaths in society; naturally attracts people who believe they are above question and shouldn't be criticized. Same mentality in the scramble for Africa, and some of the same people.

It began with forming a corporation for trade purposes, and degenerated quickly into bloodshed (genocide, actually) and exploitation. But this begins with entering into a contract with myth -- by "consent."

That issue of "person" is important to understand (it's about jurisdiction). From what I can tell now (being no expert, and def. not attorney) is the concept came up from people who understood their need to raise capital and employ a slave labor force, i.e., they understood how to gain an advantage and increase it from there.

Then the entire country re-arranges itself around the myth that this is for "service" purposes. I don't think it ever was (see also unauthorized biography of Bush // Tarpley). Frightening concept, don't know quite what to do with it, though.

I realize this topic is wide-ranging, however I've had hunt and gather some sound explanations for what happened to me in the SFBay Area over two decades, when I came here in peace, healthy and with a viable profession. To get to this conclusion, I had to wade through the (ir)rationalizations, most of them promoted by nonprofits on the dole with half-baked logic, but well-developed financing.

Posted by LGH on May. 08, 2013 @ 3:23 pm

it is really sad that because somebody doesn't want to drive in the right lane the entire legal process has to be halted for this guy. really sad.

Posted by TK on Aug. 20, 2013 @ 7:51 am

So not sure if everyone knows what happened with this case but this genius was found guilty and given a $489 fine.

The Judge said that the intent of the legislation was to relieve traffic congestion on highways..Anyone with half a brain would realize that there was nothing political here this was someone trying to get over on the system because they were caught doing wrong, and in the end they failed. End of Discussion. ###

Posted by Jake Cambridge on Aug. 20, 2013 @ 8:06 am