The Chamber of Commerce Hawaii has retained a former aide to the late Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii) to lobby on base realignment and closure. Nicole Di Resta, now a senior vice president at the lobby shop Cassidy and Associates, worked for Inouye as a professional staff member on SAC-D. The Chamber has also retained Cassidy’s Barry Rhoads, who served as deputy general counsel for the 1991 BRAC commission.
Inouye “laid the groundwork for effective engagement with the Pentagon while serving as a tireless advocate for Hawaii on the Senate Appropriations Committee,” says Di Resta. “We hope to build upon his success by working with the state’s congressional delegation as we support the Chamber of Commerce Hawaii and the Military Affairs Council to better position with decision makers and opinion leaders in Washington to underscore the value and importance of its military installations.”
Over the past several years, Congress has repeatedly rejected the Pentagon’s proposals to establish a new BRAC commission to shutter military bases it says are unneeded. Still, states and localities across the country have been retaining BRAC lobbyists and consulting firms to help them keep their bases safe in the event of future rounds of base closures. In her official biography, Di Resta notes that she “supported the Hawaii delegation through the 2005 BRAC process, helping to facilitate the successful removal of the Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard from the closure list.”
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