The Edge: Competitive Edge Blog

Edgy Interview: Tony Manolatos

A San Diego Union-Tribune reporter in a previous life, I met Tony Manolatos while he served as Communications Director for then-Councilman Kevin Faulconer. So Tony is one of those savvy San Diego City Hall veterans with a background in journalism. Probably more important to his success in campaigns and elections, Tony has a knack for putting together and managing crack teams of professionals who work in synch to move the needle for his clients. It’s not easy balancing client demands with diverse talents, but that’s what he does at his brand-new firm Manolatos Public Affairs. Read more

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Edgy Interview: Byron Wear

There’s a longer story here — and I’ll relate it some day — about Byron’s first run for City Council and Competitive Edge’s role in it. For now I’ll leave it at “it was CERC’s very first project, we were hired by the other side (the Kay Davis campaign) and we learned very valuable lessons.” Despite his defeat in that race at the hands of another friend-of-CERC Ron Roberts, Byron eventually persevered to become San Diego’s 2nd District City Councilman. He served two terms which included two years as Deputy Mayor. Byron remains active in community affairs and he’s pushing to revitalize San Diego’s Midway District. Read more

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Effective Campaign Messaging: Information has Gotta be New, Salient and Meet with Agreement

You want to win. We all want to win. But unless your client is a popular saint running unopposed or a brand that has cured COVID-19, you’ll have to change, or at least maintain, public opinion in order to win. “Moving the needle” requires communicating a series of persuasive messages to the electorate. Read more

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Edgy Interview: Frank Nienstedt

Very much alive and kicking at the age of 89, Frank Nienstedt – CERC’s longest-serving employee and John’s dad — dutifully sat for The Edgy Interview. Born in and raised in Riverside, Illinois, during the Great Depression, he remembers the iceman coming around, burning coal in the furnace, hearing the news about Pearl Harbor and the dropping of the A-bomb. Frank has witnessed lots of changes. He gets into his faith, his deep love of classical music (and broccoli!) and more in this interview, but somehow neglected to touch on his biggest highlight: serving as John’s Best Man. Read more

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Edgy Interview: Cynthia Bryant

Cynthia Bryant, Executive Director of the California Republican Party, is all about the Golden State.  As you’ll see in this installment of the Edgy Interview, she’s been involved in California politics, at all levels, basically forever. But Cynthia’s love for the state clearly ventures well beyond the bounds of politics, stretching into the arts, food, sports and even a certain property she has her eye on. Glad we ask questions on a wide variety of topics.  Read more

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