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The Ripple Effect of Presidential Elections

The United States is less than a month away from electing a new President. You can't help but hear about all of the political implications of either potential administration every time you turn on the television. However, the stakes for our perceived energy-hogging, emission-producing and truly low-net-margin wholesale industry that you'd never hear about on the news or radio could arguably not be higher. HARDI has formed two new task forces, the A/C and Heat Pump Rulemaking Task Force and the HCFC Rulemaking Task Force, to work with the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, respectfully, to participate in the multiyear process of establishing future regulations on the equipment and refrigerants that fuel our industry. The leadership of these two agencies is likely to change dramatically after next year's inauguration.

Similarly, the Security and Exchange Commission and Internal Revenue Service will also have new leadership soon. This could alter federal opinions on the LIFO accounting system. There will be new directors of Homeland Security and Immigration and Naturalization Service, which will affect employment practices as they may or may not pertain to undocumented workers, and there will be a new Secretary of Labor charged with enforcing and promulgating employee leave and other workplace regulations. Like it or not, where there's a federal agency and a new presidential administration, there will be change that can and probably will affect how you do business every day.

As a voter and employer, it is your responsibility to understand these implications (and HARDI's responsibility to help). The law strictly forbids employers from encouraging employees to vote for specific candidates, but they can and should provide education for employees on voting, registration and issues that will affect the business. Successful distribution executives should take careful note of three loud and clear messages from employees revealed by the most recent BIPAC Prosperity Project post-election survey:

  • 61% of employees found the information provided by their employer to be helpful in deciding which way to vote.
  • 77% of employees described themselves as wishing their company would let them know how government issues impact their job, company and industry.
  • 42% of employees said they would like to see more communications from their employers on issues that impact their job, workplace and industry in the future to help them decide which way to vote, second only to more newspaper coverage of the candidates and their positions.

You and your employees need to know the issues and where the candidates stand because this election will drive the course of legislative policy in Congress AND regulatory policy in all of the government agencies. You spend every day trying to grow your business and support your employees. Why should Nov. 4, 2008, be any different?

Talbot Gee is vice president of HARDI. Contact him at 614/345-4328 or [email protected]

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