May 16, 2005

How to play post BRAC Arsenal game very complex

The Dispatch mentions in a piece today that even the true number of job losses at the R.I. Arsenal are still unclear. The initial numbers released didn't square with the number of people employed on the Island. After Arsenal officials crunched the numbers, the figure increased from the reported 1,263 net loss to 1,705, not good news.

Adding to the complexity of plotting a post downsizeing lobbying strategy is the fact that the effort has so many fronts. The closures and "realignments" around the country pit military facilities against each other as most downsizing recommendations are essentially consolodation plans, with workers from two or more sites being downsized and consolodated at fewer sites.

So the Arsenal Development group, headed by R.I. Mayor Mark Schweibert, and the Quad City Development group, led by Thom Hart, and all others involved have to argue that the Arsenal is a more logical choice to locate the various commands and departments and that other bases should send their downsized employees here. But at the same time, they must fight a rearguard action by fighting against having even more Arsenal workers reasigned to other bases.

Essentially, it's a zero sum game for all military facilities, and they'll be fighting tooth and claw to get as many of the remaining pool of workers as possible.

So the announced cuts at the Arsenal may actually get worse if other bases can convince panel members that remaining Arsenal workers should be moved elsewhere, but if the Arsenal lobbying groups efforts are sucessful, the cuts won't get worse, and there exists the potential that workers from other sites might actually relocate to the Arsenal.
A difficult and complex task at best.

Thom Hart reveals that a few months before the recommendations were issued, they had heard "rumblings" that the entire Rock Island Arsenal might be shut down entirely.

The fact that didn't transpire is about the only comfort to be gotten from the situation.

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At 5/16/2005 1:27 PM, Blogger Retro Girl said...

This is scary.

At 5/16/2005 2:27 PM, Blogger hud50 said...

We're in a slightly better position because we have 4 U.S. Senators going to bat for the Arsenal, in addition to Nussle and Evans. Also, I heard Hastert might want to weigh in to try to enhance the awful standing of the GOP in the area.

At 5/16/2005 2:38 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Good point HUD. The more the merrier. But weren't you the one who said I my ignorance was astounding when I suggested that politics played a role in this?
Evidently you've seen the light.

At 5/17/2005 7:03 AM, Blogger maybesomeday said...

Amen Dope - truly political process all the way as I have said before.

At 5/17/2005 8:19 AM, Blogger hud50 said...

A lobbying effoert is a lobbying effort. I still maintain that politics didn't enter into the brac report. Democrats and republicans both got hit. Even that guy from Dakota who knocked off Daschle. His whole base is to close. I think the report was based on data analysis and military strategy, as it was supposed to be.

The BRAC commissioners are now assembled, and the lobbying begins for those who got screwed. That's the fairest way to do it, and it is built into the process, because you can't just close a base and have that be the end of discussion. The bases should be able to make their case as well. Let's just pray that we can save some of those jobs.

At 5/17/2005 11:49 PM, Blogger LL Cool T said...

hud50 wake up! Thune ran for the S.D. Senate on the platform that he would be the best person to protect Ellsworth AFB from closure. How better to prove his political muscle than to schedule the base for closing and have him come in and save the day. Compare this to ruling that the Casino Rock Island can't move and then write legislation and find a sponsor to put it on the fast track to allow it to happen. This is pure political genius and the average voter still buys into it. Any chance that Iowa has a GOP candidate for Governor named Nussle who is looking for a big boost by taking credit for bringing jobs back to the Arsenal?

At 5/18/2005 6:28 PM, Blogger dinosaurdemo said...

IICool, you're over analyzing this stuff.


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