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A law school graduate is not considered to be an Attorney until after passing the bar.This is not true for engineers, some of whom do not need to be licensed to "practice" engineering, specifically in the industrial arena.The state simply fined him for claiming to be an engineer when, in the state of Oregon, he was not.He was simply trying to bolster his argument by laying claim to a regulated profession.
OTOH had you claimed to be POTUS there's little doubt of such a charge sticking.
(I guess they don't vet) To alter JAE's answer #3 above to apply to the politicians: The state simply investigated/warned him for claiming to be an engineer when, in the state of Oregon, he was not.
He was simply trying to bolster his political credibility by laying claim to a regulated profession that operates under a code of ethics. Might get some braggart in office that's way under-qualified. IRstuff, I can vaguely recall an Oregon case where the term "domestic engineer" (for a maid service) was determined not to be confusing to the public, and therefore not subject to a fine.
Late in my career one supervisor would not let the new engineers use the term "Engineer" on their cards or emails because of his strict interpretation of the State's position.
I felt the restriction should be on PE not engineer in its generic definition.