Ticketed man: if corporation is person, it counts in carpool lane

Ticketed man: if corporation is person, it counts in carpool lane

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SAN RAFAEL, Calif. — A California man is contesting a ticket for unlawfully driving in the carpool lane by claiming he did have a passenger: a corporation.

When Jonathan Frieman, 59, was pulled over in October for driving alone in the carpool lane, he had his corporation papers sitting on his passenger seat. He said the ticket is a chance to legally comment on the idea that a corporation is a person.

"I'm just arresting their power and using it for my service to drive in the carpool lane," Frieman told NBC Bay Area.

The self-described activist told KTVU he is not trying to beat a citation; rather, he is trying to make a political statement about corporate personhood.

"We're asking what signifies a corporation," he said. "What's a person."

Frieman said he was fishing for the ticket and hopes he loses when he goes before a judge on Monday, so he can appeal the decision.

An officer with the California Highway Patrol said in the majority of cases involving carpool violations that he has been involved with, the violator has been found at fault.


Frieman's lawyer, Fred Greene, told the Pacific Sun that California state vehicle code treats a person and a corporation as an equivalent.

"When a corporation is present in one's car, it is sufficient to qualify as a two-person occupancy for commuter lane purposes," he said. "When the corporate presence in our electoral process is financially dominant, by parity it appears appropriate to recognize such presence in an automobile."

Other political news:

  • A screenplay based on the life of Hillary Clinton is in the works, according to Rolling Stone. The movie will take place in the ‘70s, tracking a 20-something Clinton as she begins her career. It's "a journey of a woman who was torn between her personal desires and her professional ambition - both literally pulled her thousands of miles apart, because Bill did not want to leave Arkansas, and she did not want to leave Washington D.C.," according to Young Il Kim, the screenwriter.

  1. A petition on the White House website requests that Pres. Obama's administration "authorize the production of a recurring television program featuring Vice President Joe Biden." "Vice President Joe Biden has a demonstrated ability to bring people together, whether at the negotiating table or at the neighborhood diner," said the writer of the petition. "Such a program would educate the American public about the duties and responsibilities of their Vice President, while providing a glimpse of the lighthearted side of politics even in the midst of contentious and divisive national debates." As of Monday afternoon, the petition had about 23,300 of the 25,000 needed for a response.
  2. People in Colorado and Connecticut, where the two most deadly mass shootings of 2012 occurred, were less likely to buy new guns at the end of 2012 than residents of other states. Government figures show a surge in background checks throughout the nation at the end of 2012, but particularly in the South and West, according to the Associated Press.

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Stephanie Grimes


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