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Man Challenges Citizens United – From The Carpool Lane

Screen Shot 2013-01-05 at 10.12.54 AMFor most, getting caught alone in the carpool lane is an expensive nuisance. For Jonathan Frieman of San Rafael, CA, it’s a chance to change American politics.

The designated carpool lane on Highway 101 near Frieman’s northern California home is specified to be for “two people or more” during rush hour. The police say Frieman was driving alone, but rather than pay the $478 fine, he plans to head to court on Monday to challenge the ticket. His reasoning? He had his papers of incorporation with him and since the Supreme Court has ruled that corporations are people, there were two people in the car.

It’s doubtful that a traffic court judge is going to take a bold stance against a Supreme Court ruling, but that’s the point. Should Frieman lose Monday, which he plans on doing, he wants to take the challenge all the way to the top court. From the Pacific Sun:

According to a press release from Kathleen Russell Consulting, the Mill Valley-based firm handling publicity for Frieman’s quest for justice, state vehicle code 470’s definition of a person includes “natural persons and corporations.”

If he loses in court on Monday, continues the press release, Frieman says he is prepared to appeal the case all the way to the Supreme Court “in an effort to expose the impracticality of corporate personhood.”

“Corporations are imaginary entities, and we’ve let them run wild,” says Frieman. “Their original intent 200 years ago at the dawn of our nation was to serve human beings. So I’m wresting back that power by making their personhood serve me.”

While this might be the first time Frieman has made national headlines, he is a long-time political activist in Marin County, CA. He writes a blog for the San Rafael Patch, where he rails against local issues and our country’s growing income and tax discrepancy. He seems unafraid of offending the wealthy, many of whom are his neighbors in the upscale Bay Area city.

Frieman’s traffic protest wasn’t the first time he went outside the lines of politics. In May of 2012, he impersonated a Assembly candidate, Marc Levine, in protest of that candidate. He even considered starting a write-in campaign under the name of “Mark” (with a “k”) Levine to siphon votes from the original Levine.

If Frieman’s fight makes it to the Supreme Court, there’s no guarantee they will hear it. In June of last year, they turned down a more conventional case, one in which state law conflicted with the federal ruling.


Screen Shot 2012-12-27 at 6.14.13 PMWendy Gittleson is a seasoned writer, a dog lover and an avid political junkie. She is the Senior Editor for Addicting Info. In her rare down times, you’ll find her somewhere in the mountains or near the beach. Follow her on her Facebook page or on Twitter, @wendygittleson