There's a certain irony in the mayor's position.

They screwed it up right from the start. The big mistake he made was early on, when he didn't follow through with specific initiatives on the reform issues that he talked about in the State of the State speech.

I think it's out of hand. Just the sheer volume of initiatives and the confusing campaigns have subverted the original intent. We should be able to vote on fairly significant things and be able to figure out what we're voting on without three hours of study.

The Chamber has gotten more sophisticated with its endorsements. It got tired of losing.

A lot of money is going to come in from around the state and around the country because it's a key seat.

This is a new force in local, state and national politics. This is a new voting block. As they gain leadership positions, they'll increase in power.

The question is, can he persuade others, particularly Republicans, that this is a good idea?

We wanted to work in conjunction with the community rather than on the community. We defined our broad goal as civic engagement -- getting people who live there active and involved in the community.