Corporations and carpools

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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.

 

Comments

Good on Frieman!

Filing an 'articles of incorporation' document is easy and cheap (I did it once for an art studio I founded w/friends in Miami, Florida).

Posted by Troll the XIV on Jan. 04, 2013 @ 6:01 pm

It seems that not all of us have issues with the current state of the law. I, for one, totally second Frieman's sentiments. If the law states that corporations are people, then that set of rules should apply to Frieman's set of incorporated papers as well. That is just to uphold the fairness that every citizen should be getting and for the authorities to practice what they preach. However, I have a feeling his money would simply go down the drain. Because if the court loses to him, then the carpool lane will be flooded the next day, with people who has a set of papers from their corporations.

Posted by Peter Mould on Feb. 12, 2013 @ 8:04 pm

Having the carpool lane flooded with cars with two "persons" in it--one a human, one a corporation--might actually get someone to notice.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 02, 2013 @ 10:06 am

that corporations can enjoy some of the same rights as people.

So, they may be able to use free speech to state political preferences, for instance, while not being able to vote.

It's really not very complicated or concerning.

Posted by Guest on Apr. 02, 2013 @ 10:31 am

"Futile gesture"..

Posted by Guest on Jan. 04, 2013 @ 6:13 pm

for example

http://www.sfbike.org/?bylaws

It bothers the left that incorporated entities take part in the political process.

There are some amazing things that have been allowed because of incorporation, such as being able to lie in advertising, but when it comes down to it the left uses these entities as much as any other group to get over. One assumes that if personhood was removed from incorporated entities the true believers would somehow make sure that they got to continue with their bullshit.

I'm not really opposed to removing corporate personhood at some levels, just pointing out that the Redmonds of the world are so sleazy that they would make sure that the new laws in no way effected their pet entities.

Posted by matlock on Jan. 05, 2013 @ 12:57 am

Those non-profit corporations are what for-profit corporations and those made wealthy by them use to sabotage "the left."

Tim and Steve prioritize relationships in their political cosmology over substantive policies. It is more of a faux pas to NAME when these nonprofits fuck over their constituencies and other San Franciscans (because it might not allow their friends to save face) than it is to ACTUALLY make deals that fuck over those folks.

This is yet another inhibitor of the kind of cross-tribal solidarity required for the fragments of non-corporate politics to stand up to corporate dominance, arrest the decline and start to fight that back to stasis and even, who knows, begin to advance our own agenda.

But so long as there are those who think that because someone claims to do something for a political cause under the auspices of a nonprofit, that criticizing that person is tantamount to criticizing the political cause and so long as those claims of doing something are allowed to substitute for perfected accomplishment, the progressive death spiral will continue to take the rest of non-corporate politics down with it.

Posted by marcos on Jan. 05, 2013 @ 8:06 am

government in the post-Reagan world. As budgets shrink, governments have responded by getting out of various businesses, either by privatizing or outsourcing them to corporations or, where they are less attractive to the private sector, creating non-profits to operate them but on a more cost-effective basis.

You may not like the non-profits but, but for them, those services would not exist at all, at least not an affordable price.

Posted by anon on Jan. 05, 2013 @ 11:34 am

Reaganite Troll.

Posted by marcos on Jan. 05, 2013 @ 11:45 am

Budgets and net assets are different. Budgets are what's kept in people's faces to reduce services, close parks, possibly raise taxes.

It's simply an acounting practice and term.
Remember when they were going to close 70 parks? Then a whistleblower found $54 million sitting in unidentified funds within the Parks Department?

This has to do with the concept of CAFR (comprehensive annual financial report). As I'm late to the thread, and got other things to do, I recommend looking at what Hermann (harvard.edu, economist) found already, both on the parks, on the school budgets too. I've blogged it some (above) and have links.

This also relates to housing (see Walter Burien, Catherine Austin Fitts writings as former top FHA/HUD official). I'd love to chat, but not in the time budget today.

That was a major lesson for me. Guest, Jan 6, 2013 9:30pm in re SF Sizzle and bike-friendly neighborhoods to live in, I think has it right.

So I disagree with that line -- privatization of government is because the budgets were trimmed. That's a myth. What it's really about is privatization of government a.k.a. "Fees for Friends."

Civil servants (this includes judges, court-appointed lawyers, and looks like almost any major category of social service provider with a pension plan) form nonprofit trade associations for mutual (not public, but "mutual") benefit; and funny how those tend to spiral out of control, and lack accountability.

I find them all the time (see blogsite) all over the country, although first came in from the HHS angle, I can see how HHS and HUD intersect. I.e., where are criminal organizations going to put their (untaxed, obviously) drugs and arms profits, if not into real estate development? And how's that going to influence zoning and other influences -- in favor of the wage-earners who don't have much to bargain with but their bodies (if they can become the topic of a social science experiment of some sort), or their kids (sell into the system).
------
Here's one of the many links from a Santa Cruz nonprofit "Culture Change" that a friend was considering getting involved with on a legitimate (environmental) cause. To help him check it out, I went looking for their tax returns and filing; found out they have a mysterious fiscal agent (probably not in California), and I'd steer clear -- but the cause, and definitley the website looks great.
_____
So here's one of their links with the word "government" in its name -- but it's not government, it's a corporation. You look three places to check things out:
State Corporate filing; if nonprofit, Charitable nonfiling at State Level (OAG office) and try to get a look at either articles of incorporation or at least a tax return.

For" Local Government Corporation" I did. It was formed in 1980, has the word "THE" in its legal name, and its board of directors is a thing to be hold:
http://www.lgc.org/about/board.html (mayors of Oakland, and a few other places, Vice-Mayor of Fremont, Supervisors of one or two Counties, and a bunch of CouncilMembers)...

They are also a nonprofit and in California you can look right at their "RRF" where they must state (one 2nd of a simple two-page form) which government branches they are taking money from.

It can be for a great cause -- and maybe is -- but the fact is, that money they are using is from the public, and the more this happens (public officials forming private nonprofits, and then using influence to get their projects passed -- without running it so openly by the public) -- the less accountability we have.

I used to work for nonprofits that helped supplement the losses of things removed from the local public (urban) schools. The work was fun, and many parents and others did this; with good results.

However, then when I was older, I actually needed some help myself from certain nonprofits, and soon learned that they are accountable to their funders -- not their clients; and arae in NO way responsible to do the citizen's homework -- which is go hunt down the tax return, corporation history (see if they're legitimate or not) or tell all the truth of whatever topic they're pushing. This got a lot worse when Bush pulled out the plugs for the faith-based initiatives in 2001, that's BEFORE 9/11.

You might want to read the tax return of "Local Government Commission" which is a tax-exempt CORPORATION meaning, except for the vaguest compliance with tax-exempt laws (enforcment is arbitrary), they are accountable to their Board, unless they have members, shareholders, etc.

Full name "The Local Government Commission on Conservation and Renewable Resources."

EIN# 942791699, I have a Looking It Up page, but my "thang" is nonprofits driving the family court agenda, not sustainable communities. As I now understand government itself, that's as a business enterprise, a specialized form of corporation which has enforcement privileges, including starting wars, privatizing prisons, the whole nine yards....

Here's a recent return
http://990s.foundationcenter.org/990_pdf_archive/942/942791699/942791699...

I notice that when their revenue shot up to $15million (per this form) it somehow didn't get posted for Californians over at the Charitable trusts registry.

The problem I have with all this is that it makes so much legwork, absent effective tools for any normal, individual who isn't independently wealthy (and without other pressing responsibilities) to ever keep track of where their own money is being spent, and by whom. Especially when a government official forms a nonprofit, then watch out....

Would love to stick around and say more, but there's a blog, I'm a parent, and it just ain't in the budget. Will respond to comments on blog.

Also, looks like I didn't get ALL the delinquency facts correct on other JoMiJo Foundation comment, but anyone can look them up over at the OAG's Charitable Trusts page. (Three years of (IRS?) forms were "rejected" and then later ones accepted. I'd reported, not filed since 2009...).

Posted by LGH on May. 08, 2013 @ 2:51 pm

Agree with Marcos, although it took me too long to figure out; I was raised to simply work in a profession, and trust that this would suffice.

Then married (in Bay Area); abusive; then threw him out (Bay Area) which should've resulted in more safety, but thanks ot the courts -- and all their nonprofit-contractors, hasn't. It made things worse.

Ties into this guy because the JoMiJo foundation, turns out, funded a local nonprofit [Center for Judicial Excellence) which is determined to keep this entire topic off the radar, although it's a primary factor in endangering people who go to the courts for help or protection. The group is posturing as a humble agent of change for the better, while functioning in arrogance and egotism. It didn't make sense to me til I looked at the consultant's own clientele -- and a few tax returns, and finally a grant agreement dated 5/29/2006.. (link to it below).

---------

... people like myself who actually look at the funding of our courts instead of demanding "performance evaluations" and clamoring for public attention for story-telling of court disasters. Also google Huffington post blog by an Anne Stevenson -- this is not a left/right issue at that level of funding.

...I've lived in the Bay Area almost two decades and formerly used to commute to SF (carpool or noncarpool) in the process of working. A self-employed professional in the arts, and a mother -- and a domestic violence survivor whose account may mirror many of those in the film that CJE keeps peddling, while demanding more and more attention (White House, NCADV, now a prominent Psychologists -- so much for drawing attention to the problem that too many psychologists in the courthouse is causing; in fact this organization has developed a bad reputation among women who actually study the grants trail, and report on it).

I don't have a problem with his carpool challenge, or really Frieman -- I have a problem with ideologue nonprofits serving to cloud (not completely hide, but at least cloud) whose agenda they are serving by clouding the funding.

I have for many years attempted to persuade women in serious distress, often PTSD (literally, beside themselves) some of them homeless through having to fight to retain custody of children they removed from violent households (as I did) to wise up that just because someone talks your rap doesn't mean they are on your side.

The situations we deal with are unbelievably unjust, place our lives at risk needlessly, and often go on for over a decade (mine has!) -- and CJE, a group formed (and funded) only in 2006, thanks to JoMiJo foundation -- has been more interested in getting on FOX news, or Dr. Phil, Oprah, or close to wherever the money is -- than actually listening to people who came before them, and took their own time to investigate the money trail. It's hard to report on something you're on the take from.... Recently, the "Our Broken Courts" initiative has taken it up a notch.

San Francisco is full of groups like this. While Jonathan's brainchild (?) is not the largest, it's the mouthiest in this field, and through collective clout and its original startup funding (plus leadership not themselves being plagued by threats to their kids -- Ms. Russell is not a parent, and I don't believe has gone through what the people whose stories she tells have) -- it's become a significant problem, including interfering with legitimate grassroots activity from mothers and children whose lives remain at risk, and can't afford major mistakes in policy year after year.

I've become someone who spends a lot of time looking up corporate records and charitable records (etc.) UP FRONT; it's an honesty check. I wish I'd known to do this years earlier, for my kids' sake; one of who has apparently run away (or been warehoused), and another one who has been well groomed (and rewarded) for selling out an immediate family member, by some of the same who did this to me -- rather than going through legitimate processes to adopt, they simply enabled someone to steal (children).

I have come to almost despise people who call themselves "experts" or seek to be "the voice" for others. Most of the time, they aren't -- it's just a game, a livelihood.

What a shame -- SF is a great area for the arts, but it's been a nightmare for someone who actually required a somewhat stable environment (post-domestic violence) to function within them. By the way -- is JoMiJo Foundation still filing and active? Last I looked, they weren't the most upfront group around.
http://rct.doj.ca.gov/MyLicenseVerification/Search.aspx?facility=Y
(look it up -- it's been delinquent, hasn't filed since 2009). Hypocrite! If that project was some sort of game for the guy, it's hurt innocent people dealing with major trauma. One reason I blog (unfunded so far) is just to tell the truth about that system that CJE refuses to. The phrase has been used "throwing people under the bus" (regarding in the court system).

To see this in larger relief, check out "Futures Without Violence." Hogwash practices (their vocabulary follows their funders, too), but prime real estate. Using real-life situations for private profit -- millions of $$ of it. I called them on it as "Family Violence Prevention Fund," but they got a major grant for a facelift, corporate namechange, and new property to save the world from, in the Praesidio. The women they are trying to save are still getting shot, stabbed, strangled, burnt sometimes -- and are having cars towed when child support is not enforced, can't maintain work around ridiculous court proceedings, or kids stolen and transferred to the abusive parent when they try to get child support enforced. (That's the racket and the pattern). I was traumatized out of my own profession, and it's no cakewalk repeatedly having to jumpstart new ones -- while the same actors are in place.

For seven years now, CJE has been functioning and refusing to report the HHS grants system that even California NOW had identified back in 2002. Thanks to internet and phone (when we have access, that is), some of us have caught on, even though we aren't being paid to fly around the country, conference, and then sell the results of conferences in books, then write off the airfare and travel... etc. See post "Our Broken Family Courts Aren't."

(Whatever...).

Posted by LGH on May. 08, 2013 @ 11:14 am

It's always the same thing with you. Even when progressives have an idea that you agree with, you still find a way to take a crap on them. You must be a hit at parties with that winning personality of yours.

Posted by Greg on Jan. 05, 2013 @ 8:17 am

Now, now, Greg, he's got a point there. For-profit corporations are more democratic and accountable than non-profit corporations and for that structural lack of accountability you still get the same authoritarian top-down structure! At least for-profits have to have shareholders that elect the boards of directors who hire staff. Non-profits boards of directors are almost exclusively self perpetuating.

In the case of the SFBC, they allow members to vote in board elections but they have created such a culture of bicycle chic that there is no substantive discussion of the direction of the agency during board elections. The board culture there is hypersocialized where the structural role of the board is to provide support to the executive staff rather than to actually manage then and give them direction based on democratic feedback from the membership, like a board of DIRECTORS is supposed to.

Posted by marcos on Jan. 05, 2013 @ 8:34 am

Yet another reason why I never bothered to join. My criticism was broader. Matlock comes here to peddle his cheap moral nihilism and pass it off as deep philosophy. He has more in common with the anarchists he loathes than he can possibly imagine.

And what's worse, he tries to peddle the canard that he's some sort of high-minded independent thinker, like Dick Morris, when in fact it's clear that he's just a shill for right. It's painfully obvious because the one and only reason he ever posts is to trash progressives.

The shtick is getting real old.

Posted by Greg on Jan. 05, 2013 @ 8:21 pm

Joined the SFBC for the Rainbow discount, left once it ended.

Matlock like Lucrecia does not engage in reflexive conservative/libertarian/corporate gainsaying, hijacking every thread by contesting basic progressive values.

Their quibbles from what I gather lie more with the professional progressive players and the contempt they share with much of City staff and developers, their lobbyists, architects and attorneys, for San Franciscans.

Posted by marcos on Jan. 05, 2013 @ 8:30 pm

Lucretia have different and more nuanced modus operandi here than the more obnoxious type of troll, but I hardly think you can credit matlock with not contesting basic progressive values. As a matter of fact, matlock positively exudes negativity in that regard.

The fact is that no matter how much you'd like to find comity with these characters, at their hearts they do not exhibit the capacity for clear-eyed analysis of fact. Just look at how often matlock posts reactions to stories which are based on his own slanted presuppositions.

matlock pretends to be middle-of-the-road and he talks of groups to his left and right as though he is moderate, but he never stops spewing anti-progressive vitriol. All attempts at seeming moderate are a sham.

Posted by lillipublicans on Jan. 05, 2013 @ 9:01 pm

I am not threatened by San Franciscans who disagree with me like Lucrecia and Matlock.

The issue of persistent trolls political operatives, probably paid pimps, is totally different.

Posted by marcos on Jan. 05, 2013 @ 9:21 pm

As a matter of fact, I didn't even consider it an issue, so I see we have accord on that.

Where we continue to disagree is on the idea that they are "totally different."

I hold that they are not substantially different. My sense is that they can't be expected to base their arguments on fact; regardless of whether that is due to a lack of honest intent and/or ability. I think I've detected at least a whiff of misanthropy.

Still, being that they are "real" San Franciscans as you stipulate, someday pehaps there is reason to hope that someday they will throw off whatever demons to possess them and develop their potential both to care for their fellow men and contribute value to this forum.

Posted by lillipublicans on Jan. 05, 2013 @ 10:15 pm

More like powerful and persistent stench of misanthropy. Maybe someone's hurt him in the past. Maybe he's like Cinnamon Stillwell. In case you don't know who that is, she's a writer for SFGate who's also consumed with contempt for anything progressives -needlessly so. I've often wondered what makes her such an ugly human being (hate always looks ugly on you). Then one day she finally gave away the source of her vitriol in one of her columns. Apparently her parents were hippies, which is how she got her unusual name, which she hated since childhood. She probably got teased for that name, and as a result she decided that to trash everything and everyone progressive at every chance she got. She's stuck at age 15, rebelling against her parents.

So maybe matlock's like that. His tone often reminds me of one of those cynical 15 or 16 year olds who has an endless supply of black T-shirts, spends his time playing video games, has a nasty nihilistic outlook on life informed by death metal. "Threatened" is really the wrong word. While this sort of man-child can occasionally go postal, most of them aren't in the mood for a real life murder-suicide spree. They're much too cowardly. They'll just go through life taking little craps on the world around them to get back at some perceived injustice.

Problem is... it's annoying. When done on a discussion board it ruins the whole space. And that's fine by them. That's why they do it. Case in point... here we are, discussing matlock and the other trolls instead of the article. How fucked up is that?

Posted by Greg on Jan. 06, 2013 @ 8:49 am

but I am not a progressive. I'm a supporter of local businesses, local food movements and other causes considered "progressive" but I support them for entirely different reasons - because sustainability is inherently a good thing. The political agendas behind these issues, the lame bike vs. cars arguments etc... do not interest me at all other than betraying that deep down, many progressives are deeply interested in the same type of behavioral control as are conservatives. I am not.

And Marcos is right - I have a deep contempt, as does he, for the bourgeois forces which control San Francisco aligned with those who claim they are "progressive" like Non Profit Inc. They're parasites mainly interested in feathering their own nests - and it's sad how many San Franciscans have a hard time believing that despite years of evidence available right in front of their eyes.

Posted by Lucretia Snapples on Jan. 06, 2013 @ 3:20 pm

The point of the article seems to have been lost in the discussion, which was using articles of corporate incorporation to challenge corporate personhood by claiming the articles constitute a person under the law, and therefore a legal co-rider in a carpool lane. Whether the articles are for a profit or non-profit corporation, and the pros and cons of that, seems beside the point.

Interesting tactic. Kinda like catching Al Capone for tax evasion.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 06, 2013 @ 11:20 pm

"clear-eyed ananlysis of the fact".

You might as well say that people divide into two groups - those who agree with you and those who are wrong.

Which says nothing more than that you think you are right. And guess what? We all do.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 06, 2013 @ 10:03 am

Facts have a progressive bias.

Posted by Greg on Jan. 06, 2013 @ 12:20 pm

I think you genuinely believe that the left is "good and right and true" and the right is "wrong and bad and evil".

Of course, those on the right say the exact opposite.

It's probably true that only those of us who occupy the moderate center see the fallacy of both extreme positions. And luckily, us fair-minded moderates are a majority over the extremists. Even in San Francisco.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 06, 2013 @ 12:42 pm

The majority of San Franciscans imposed health care and sick leave mandates on business, raised the minium wage, voted to nationalize PG&E (notwithstanding the shenanigans of a tiny minority that stole that election), consistently vote for historic preservation and against runaway development, voted to impeach Bush and Cheney, voted to ban handguns, voted for an immediate withdrawal from Iraq, voted to ban military recruiters from public schools, and strongly support rent control.

And you're right, they are fair minded... and moderate. Because none of the above is particularly radical. Radical is imposing a dictatorship of the proletariat, confiscating all private property, and chopping off the heads of the oligarchs. The majority of San Franciscans probably wouldn't be in favor of that. Neither am I. If you have Marxist-Leninist communism on the left, and Ayn Randian laissez faire capitalism on the right, most San Franciscans are somewhere in the middle, as am I.

Like most San Franciscans, I don't have an issue with property per se, but there need to be strong government regulations that ensure the weak don't get screwed by the strong. We call this progressivism or even leftism, because people in this country have their heads screwed so far right they don't know which way is which. But really, the progressive agenda, which squarely advocates a mixed economy, is the very definition of moderate centrism.

You, by contrast, and your trollish ilk, are no moderates. You advocate an extremist agenda of the destruction of any public good and concentration of wealth into the hands of a few oligarchs.

Posted by Greg on Jan. 06, 2013 @ 8:11 pm

For example

The "sick pay" thing was purely a BOS issue.,

Greg when losing things at the BOS level howls about how unfair it all is.

Posted by matlock on Jan. 06, 2013 @ 8:59 pm

This is easy enough to google. In 2006, San Francisco voters passed a paid sick leave ordinance with 61% of the vote, in a campaign led by Young Workers United, one of those progressive activist groups you loathe and decry as being unrepresentative. The progressive BOS majority would have loved to pass it by ordinance, but they couldn't muster the votes to override a certain veto from the oh-so-liberal mayor. So they took it to the people, who proved once again to be more progressive than the government.

Posted by Greg on Jan. 06, 2013 @ 9:36 pm

Is the problem, when I had to deal with correctly educated SEIU I was shocked at what disdain they had for the rank and file that did not toe the line.

SF's top progressives seem much the same. Redmond bemoans safe districts for republicans while the democrats have helped enhance that situation when possible to their own advantage. The city's lobbyist law I thought was a great idea, when going to the ethics commissions page I found that the vast majority of the cities lobbyists get a pass. As you mentioned a few weeks ago, the bike coalition lost two elections to close the park then just went whining to the board and got their way. Greg thinks all this sleaze is great, because he is good at taking orders because his goal is to one day give all the orders.

Posted by matlock on Jan. 06, 2013 @ 3:04 am

Matlock is correct in that progressives have figured out a way to constrain their agenda to the point where it causes divisiveness within the progressive activist coalition--see the bike/affordable housing divide.

If the paid advocates cannot figure out how to build consensus amongst themselves, then there is no way that they will be able to scale that agenda up to win real elections.

SEIU cares all about head count, (increasing, preserving). Once the job is (created, saved) the employee is basically on their own in relating to management's abuses.

Head count, of course, correlates directly to SEIU's take which pays their salaries, so there is an inherent ethical conflict between the SEIU's advocacy position, the cash stake of their employees on one hand, and meeting the needs of their membership on the other hand.

This continues the generalized cooptive trend in politics where the elite leadership of an ostensibly popular organization is taken care of (Bike Coalition, Affordable Housing, Unions) while the membership and general public for that matter languish.

Posted by marcos on Jan. 06, 2013 @ 10:02 am

the transit lobby is at war with itself. So for instance the bike crowd aren't particularly pro-transit at all. They'd rather have a bike lane than a bus lane. And they don't want an EIR on a bike lane even it will slow down buses, as Rob Alexander has successfully argued in court.

While the transit lobby care about muni, and regard bikes as private transit, not public transit.

All that binds them is vague liveability notions like hating cars. Otherwise they are blinkered narrow interest groupies.

Posted by Anonymous on Jan. 06, 2013 @ 10:18 am

And this division clears the path such that developers and corporate interests get 90% of what they want while the advocates are lucky to take 10% away from any deal.

Posted by marcos on Jan. 06, 2013 @ 10:54 am

San Francisco has been making a strong bid to become a city with some of the highest rents in the world. The cities with the highest rents don't have a lot of car congestion on the streets. They have acres of real estate devoted to pedestrian, transit, and bike use. The streets are lively (without many cars), commerce flourishes, and only the very wealthy can afford to live there or even shop there, other than as the occasional toursist.

The leaders of Transform, Livable City, SFBG, SPUR and others are a few of the tools the landlords and developers use to make livable streets sound so hip and inviting, but are part of a much larger plan to transform SF and parts of the (Bay Area) into an exclusive playground for the wealthiest elites. If I'm a landlord currently receiving $75 a square foot a year for rent, think how much my fortune grows when I can get $150 sq ft, similar to the rent prices of other districts in elite cities in the world. Free money!! If I'm a developer that can sell most of my units for $750,000 to $2.5 million, think how much more I can make when the desirabilty of SF means I can charge $1.5 million - $5 million for the same units. Pure profit!! The city needs more bike lanes, more BART cars, and more parklets so my pockets can bulge even fatter from the free profits these non-profits deliver to my wallet from the resulting increase in land values.

The non-profit groups sell the "sizzle" (cool, hip city), while the landlords and developers reap the windfall profits. The non-profits often get some nice tax-free contributions along the way. Notice too that Transform, Livable City, and the SFBG are always selling regressive taxes to pay for these land speculator improvements, whether it be BART extensions, new bike lanes, or street repaving - either bonds that benefit the very wealthy or sales taxes that impact lower and middle income groups the hardest. These non-profit leaders are either very naive about the economic war they are waging against middle and lower income working people with policies that will eventually lead to the displacement of families that are not at the highest income levels, or they are some of the smoothest and sharpest political operatives and a very effective economic hit team. If economic rape were a crime, they would be jailed with long sentences along with the politicians, landlords, and developers that wage war daily against lower and middle income working people struggling to make ends meet.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 06, 2013 @ 9:30 pm
heh

I agree that these laws go to far in some cases, the progressives agree that entities they don't agree with go to far. There is a big difference there.

The far left and right are quite predictable in this area, the rights constant attempts with those props over unions deductions, in the city the reporting laws for some lobbyists to the ethics commission.

Quite obviously the goal is to get over for both side.

Posted by matlock on Jan. 05, 2013 @ 3:40 pm

If Redmond is sleazy id hate to even begin to think how to characterize you. You do realize the sfbike coalition is a non-profit dont you ? Im sure you also understand the difference between profit and non-profit ?? What about unhinged Capitalism and a responsible Socialism ? Im not sure what you are getting at besides attempting to take a dig at Redmond. 'Fling some crap on a wall and see what sticks' just about sums it up.

Posted by Oh Brother on Jan. 09, 2013 @ 1:30 pm

I think what you are doing is making my point, the left is going to want to limit some incorporated entities and enable the ones they like.

The bike coalition, SEIU, non profits, religious groups, think tanks, race based groups, cities, universities, etc... They will all get a pass in the New American order.

A good example of how this game is played is the cities lobbyist law, only some lobbyists get counted, the full time Police, Fire, SEIU, race group, non profit, lobbyists get a pass. Campos and Avalos can spend all day with their bosses at the SEIU and we the citizens will never know.

Posted by matlock on Jan. 09, 2013 @ 2:00 pm

Maybe and then, maybe not. Crazier actions than this have made significant changes in this world.

Posted by Madeleine Dewar on Jan. 19, 2013 @ 7:32 am

Brilliant.
Overturn Citizens United.
YIPPIE!!!

Posted by Patrick Monk.RN. on Jan. 05, 2013 @ 10:47 am

I would expect that this traffic court hearing will last about 10 seconds.

Judge: "Sir, a corporation does not exist where its articles of incorporate exists. Just like placing another human's birth certificate in the passenger seat doesn't create a carpool, putting articles of incorp. in the passenger seat doesn't, either. You can pay your $478 fine at the cashier. Next case."

Posted by The Commish on Jan. 05, 2013 @ 4:35 pm

then he may pick up another rap for contempt for the court.

Judges really don't like grandstanding in their courtrooms.

Posted by anon on Jan. 05, 2013 @ 5:11 pm

Winner winner chicken dinner! Couldn't pay some one to say it any better. Damn your logic and reasoning!

Well done.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 07, 2013 @ 10:36 am

Sorry to say it but I'm pretty sure he will lose and here's why. Despite having the articles of incorporation in his car the actual corporation is not in fact in his car at the time of the ticket. It would be like driving in the car with someone else's birth certificate and claiming they were in the passenger seat.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 05, 2013 @ 6:06 pm

Except having someone's birth certificate with you at, say, the scene of a crime does not in any way mean that he/she was there. This is provable because he/she is ONE PERSON. Because that's how birth certificates work.

Since a corporation is already a completely abstract thing (thereby making it VERY HARD to argue that it is truly a person), what's to stop it from being defined as documents in a car? Can you think of a more compelling way to prove that a corporation is there? Would the entire corporation need to be present? Does it make sense that millions of people should be represented as a SINGLE PERSON, for tax/legal purposes?

No. None of that makes sense. Since corporations should not be regarded as people.

"What does Exxon want for Christmas?"

Posted by Guest on Jan. 05, 2013 @ 8:15 pm
??

You seem a bit confused

In the modern context of a corporation a person is shielded from personal liability if a corporation goes bankrupt, a person isn't shielded if they do something illegal as part of the corporation. The laws are too broad in some respects, a corporation shouldn't be able to say for example soda is good for teeth or that smoking is good for the throat. But corporations work out well in others, share holders like the city of SF's pension fund should not be held liable when the economy changes and a company goes bankrupt that the fund holds stock in.

The progressive obsession on this issue is strange.

The birth certificate analogy is quite apt, neither the individual or the corporation is in the car.

Posted by matlock on Jan. 05, 2013 @ 8:44 pm

What if the articles of incorporation state that the headquarters are in his car?

Posted by Greg on Jan. 05, 2013 @ 8:24 pm

the way articles of incorporation are claimed to create a corporate "person."

Greg asks a great question. In any case, this stunt is a score for public perception even if it fails in the courts.

Posted by lillipublicans on Jan. 05, 2013 @ 8:39 pm

I agree with the "birth certificate" argument. But if he does get away with it, he's risking being arrested for inappropriate acts with a minor. Did he ever get undressed in the presence of the incorporation papers? Maybe he reviewed them when he was in the bathroom.

Posted by Yoni R. on Jan. 06, 2013 @ 1:38 am

What's a carpool lane?

Posted by Guest on Jan. 07, 2013 @ 1:30 pm

Be sure & disqualify the referee--traffic court judge: "you can't talk about the Constitution in my courtroom."
Then when you want a real case, call us. We are still in Fed Court & have a perfect case to challenge corporate personhood: Our five-year-old son was poisoned by toxic waste: www.earthspeak.org. Power to the People!!!

Posted by Guest on Jan. 07, 2013 @ 6:51 pm

When you want a real case to challenge corporate personhood, call us! We are still in Fed Court & demand a JURY trial!!!

Posted by Leslie on Jan. 07, 2013 @ 7:02 pm

Not even close - this guy is a whack job.

Posted by Guest on Jan. 07, 2013 @ 7:07 pm