Hopefully the official Senate candy desk will be well-stocked for the duration of the historic impeachment trial, which kicked off Tuesday. Yes, there is an official stash, and it’s exactly what it sounds like: a desk with a drawer full of candy, located in the back row of the Republican side of the aisle.
The tradition started in the 1960s with California Sen. George Murphy and has continued ever since. Because this still technically falls under the realm of politics, senators in control of the desk are known to use it to butter up home-state candymakers, as a 2016 DCist history of the desk noted. While Senate ethics rules state that members can’t receive gifts totaling over $100 in a year, exceptions exist if the product is produced in the senator’s home state.
Former Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk, for instance, showcased Tootsie Rolls from his home state, and he once said he took the desk because he “wanted to make sure those bastards in Hershey, Pennsylvania, couldn’t get the candy desk.”
Unfortunately for Kirk, the desk is now run by Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey. Toomey keeps his desk stocked with “Hershey’s chocolate bars, Rolos, 3 Musketeers, Milky Way bars, peanut butter cups made by Reading, Pa.-based R.M. Palmer Co. and Peanut Chews, a staple of the Goldenberg Candy Company, which is now part of Just Born Inc.,” according to the New York Times.
But don’t worry: Democrats have full access. A Toomey spokesperson confirmed to the Times Tuesday night that “the candy desk is bipartisan.”