BRAC Talk Fuels Interest in Lobbyists
The Pentagon’s announcement that it plans to request a new BRAC round has placed lobbyists on high alert, triggering a surge in interest from defense communities.
“If they approve a BRAC, you will see a lot of hires. But proactive communities already have representation,” Barry Rhoads, president of Cassidy & Associates, told the Hill newspaper.
Communities rely on Washington insiders’ experience with military operations, the Pentagon, Congress and the affected installation, but members of the community and other local leaders have a critical role to play as well, said one lobbyist.
“A community’s best asset will be the retired officers or community members who have an expertise with that base, who live there and are in touch with those that are active,” Cece Siracuse, a senior associate with Hurt, Norton & Associates, told the Hill.
The rationale for defending an installation comes down to its military value, several lobbyists emphasized. “That will be the key criteria the BRAC Commission will use. It always has been,” said Jim Noone with Mercury/Clark & Weinstock.