As reported by Professor Bogdanski, the manufacturers of Samuel Adams beer have written a threatening letter to Mark and Dave, two personalities on KEX radio. The reason? Mark and Dave bought two website names, www.samadamsformayor.com and www.mayorsamadams.com, thinking that Commissioner Adams might be able to make use of one of them before the election and of the other one after the election, if he should become Portland's next mayor.
The beer company says that these names risk confusion with their trademarks and want Mark and Dave to cease using the websites. You can find the beer company's letter here.
If, as the brewer says, it's possible for someone to confuse the candidate with the beer, then it must also be possible for someone to confuse the beer with the candidate ("because," as Professor Lehrer sang, "addition is commutative"). Since the brewer admits that people could confuse the candidate with the beer, the brewer should read ORS 260.695, relating to election offenses, which includes this charming passage:
260.695 Prohibitions relating to voting in elections conducted by mail or at polling place.
(2) No person, within any building in which a polling place is located or, in an election conducted by mail, after the date that ballots are mailed as provided in ORS 254.470, within any building in which ballots are issued, or within 100 feet measured radially from any entrance to the building, shall do any electioneering, including circulating any cards or hand bills, or soliciting signatures to any petition. No person shall do any electioneering by public address system located more than 100 feet from an entrance to the building but capable of being understood within 100 feet of the building. The electioneering need not relate to the election being conducted.
Chapter 260 doesn't define "polling place."
As all Oregon elections are now conducted by mail, isn't the home of every registered voter a "polling place"? And if so, then -- keeping in mind that people may confuse Sam Adams the beer with Sam Adams the candidate -- isn't it unlawful for Sam Adams (the beer vendor) to locate its Sam Adams labels within 100 feet of any Portland building that houses a registered voter? Or a ballot drop site (like a mailbox)? Or a post office? Or to have a radio spot running on election day?
So if the brewer's theory about confusion is right, they're in the wrong.