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More 'solutions' from Mannix

Predictably, the candidate offers unrealistic pronouncements

Dorothy only had to wish she'd be home to get there. Outside the movies, getting something done tends to take a little more work.

Which brings us to Kevin Mannix and his solutions to Oregon's problems.

In 2002, when Mannix opposed Ted Kulongoski for the governor's chair, he said he'd reduce government spending without cutting services. Not quite possible, it turned out.

In 2003, as Republican Party chairman, he criss-crossed the state touting a secret plan for rescuing Oregon's budget. When the secret was out, it became clear no real plan existed.

Now we come to 2006. Mannix, in a race to unseat Kulongoski, explained this month to a property-rights group that as governor he'd deal with the problems he sees with Oregon land-use laws by telling the state's Land Conservation and Development Commission, I won't fund LCDC unless we reform the law.

That's the kind of governor I would be, Mannix told the group.

— The unrealistic kind, then?

It would be a sweet deal indeed if Oregon could deal with all its problems with sweeping proclamations.

But these things are inevitably a lot more complicated than Mannix would have them seem when he's on the stump.

We know he understands that the state's land-use system already is in flux under Measure 37. We know he knows that as governor, he wouldn't have the power to simply eliminate funding for the state's land-use planning organization without the Legislature's cooperation. Not that he would want to: Even foes acknowledge the importance of some of what the commission does.

So what's Mannix up to? Oregonians seem to find themselves asking that question every time his name pops up on another candidate filing form.

Some of the state's issues are complex. Oregonians shouldn't expect candidates for governor to have all the answers.

We think they do expect a straight approach to the work ahead. That's something they have yet to hear when Mannix opens his mouth.