Good for business?

Election news coverage has always been excessive, and this election is no exception. It is literally impossible to listen to television or radio news without hearing the results of the latest poll or focus group. Are you tired of hearing about prescription drugs? Social security? Education? I am.

But some issues have been notably absent from the hubris. For example, environmental issues have barely surfaced during the presidential campaign. This is surprising, considering the makeup of the Democratic ticket. Vice President Al Gore, author of Earth in the Balance, is the would-be "environmental president," and has closely identified himself with the anti-pesticide movement. His running mate, Senator Joe Lieberman, exhibits as much, if not more, antipathy towards chemicals and those who use them.

But just because pesticide issues have not been central campaign themes doesn't mean they wouldn't be on the agenda of a Gore administration. On the contrary, you could scarcely find two Washington politicians more hostile to pesticides, and it is safe to assume they'll act on those beliefs if elected.

Politics is not what Grounds Maintenance is about, but grounds care is. So it's appropriate to point out where candidates stand on the issues that matter to grounds care. Especially so, because the mainstream media won't cover topics such as the implications of a Gore presidency for posting and notification, pesticide registration or Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) regulations. But these are factors that will impact your jobs and, in some cases, your bottom line.

A Gore-Lieberman administration would be not friend of the green industry. With approval from the executive branch, you can expect the EPA to be even more onerous to manufacturers and users of pesticide fertilizers. If you doubt what I'm saying, check it out for yourself. Look at Lieberman's senate record. Read Earth in the Balance. You'll see what I mean.

I am not telling you whom you should vote for, nor am I suggesting you should cast your vote solely on the basis of this issue. After all, you are not defined only by how you make your living. You are taxpayers and parents, and sooner or later, you'll be retirees, too. Issue like Social Security, education, tax cuts and prescription-drug coverage do matter (even if you're sick and tired of hearing about them). Like most voters, you'll probably cast your vote for a candidate based on the whole package. But you at least should know whether a candidate bodes well for your business. Gore does not.

Speaking of business, plant growth regulators, or PGRs, can be a benefit to yours. Unlike most pesticides, they do not actually control pests. But they can help make you more efficient. See what's available in "Chemical Update: Plant growth regulators," on page 17.

The "dot.coms" you hear so much about have come to grounds care. Should you be jumping on the e-commerce bandwagon? You can learn more about it in "Dot.coms for grounds care," by Colleen Heraty, on page 18.

If the election is in our near future, then so is Old Man Winter. Are you ready? Find out how to prepare your equipment for the cold weather in, "Winterize your equipment," by Jim Bald, on page 27.

A note of introduction I am pleased to introduce Grounds Maintenance's new technical editor, James Houx. James, a graduate of the forestry program at the University of Missouri, owned and operated a landscape-maintenance and retail garden firm for several years before coming to Grounds Maintenance. His education and industry experience with be an asset to the magazine and continue our tradition of bringing you technical, how-to information written and edited by people who understand the grounds-care industry. In addition to writing and editing feature articles, James will research and answer your questions in Researching Maintenance, (page 1).

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