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The Candy Desk

Unknown to most citizens, the U.S. Senate has a Candy Desk. Generally staffed by Republican senators and managed by tradition, it has existed for half-a-century and is responsible for secreting sweet snacks onto the Senate floor.  It is perhaps one of the longest standing circumventions of their own laws-in this case, the Senate law that prohibits food on the Senate floor.


It started back when senators once got along, even liked each other. But about 15 years into it, Democrats decided to have their own Candy Desk.


Kindness, friendship and cooperation left Congress long ago.


The original Candy Desk was begun back when members of congress and their families often lived in Washington full-time, instead of rushing back home at every opportunity to politic and raise the $10,000 a day, 365 days a year needed to win re-election.

Back when money was not King and families and friendships were, members of congress got to know each other, even like each other. If you are old enough, you might even remember a few famously odd friends:  Tip O'Neill and Ronald Reagan, or Jack Kennedy and Barry Goldwater.

Washington was different back then.  Members of a Congressperson’s family often lived there, you were in the same social circles of dinner and Embassy parties, members stuck around, their children went to the same schools.  You were just less likely to call the father of your kid’s best friend a lying bastard.

Civility won the day and won a lot of good government.





Richard Kimball

VoteSmart.org

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