Odd factoid of the day:

One desk on the floor of the US Senate is stock with candy paid for by lobbyist.. though the Senate has a no food policy.

Senator Kirk of Illonois will provide colleagues with candy made in Illinois, including Wrigley’s Gum, Garrett’s Popcorn, Tootsie Rolls and Jelly Belly treats, at his own expense.

“Holding the Senate candy desk provides me an opportunity to promote employment among Illinois candy-makers,” said Kirk. “Chicagoland is the center of this industry, with over 3,400 jobs represented by the participating Illinois companies.”

The desk is a four decade-long tradition in the Senate and sits in the last row on the GOP side of the upper chamber.

As the desk’s occupant for more than a decade, Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) regularly stocked the desk and fed his colleagues with Hershey’s chocolates and treats from Just Born Inc., which makes Hot Tamales and Peanut Chews, until he lost his reelection bid in 2006. Since Santorum left office, there’s been a great deal of turnover in the desk’s ownership because several of its most recent occupants have died or retired, including the late Sen. Craig Thomas (R-Wyo.), who died in 2007, Sen. George Voinovich (R-Ohio), Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.) and most recently, Sen. George LeMieux (R-Fla.).

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