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THE CANDY DESK

Political Friendship

U.S. Senate Photo
U.S. Senate Photo

Unknown to most citizens, the U.S. Senate had a Candy Desk. Generally staffed by Republican senators and managed by tradition, it existed for half-a-century and was responsible for secreting sweet snacks onto the Senate floor. It was 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 could win the day and won a lot of good government.

Richard Kimball — Vote Smart Founder — still learning — my blog is coming

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Happy 4th of July

be proud

4th of July free stock photo
4th of July free stock photo

Given all that we have done to each other lately, it can be difficult to be proud of ourselves. But as a citizen would say and every patriot knows, when disaster strikes some distant land, the people there won’t think, “Russia is coming to help us.” No, they won’t think, “We can count on China’s aid.” No, what they will think is this, the people of the United States of America are on their way. And for that and that alone you can be immensely proud of your country this 4th of July.

Richard Kimball, Vote Smart Founder

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No one hates Americans like Americans

Has honor become irrelevant?

PBS NewsHour photo of Kimball starting Vote Smart
PBS NewsHour photo of Kimball starting Vote Smart

We say the most hateful, despicable things about one another, we are armed like no other and willing to kill. Enemies we once worried about across the world, have now moved in across the street.

Thirty-four years ago, I promised Presidents Ford and Carter along with 38 other national leaders of their day that I would not utter another word about politics. I would simply focus on building a system to which any conservative or liberal could turn for the facts about those who governed or wanted to replace those who do. In turn, they would support a national system, using students from universities across the nation to build an immense database of facts covering the over 40,000 politicians running for office and their power to govern our lives.

For a time, the idea grew and had a chance to pummel dishonesty and dishonor to death. However, current events have rendered honor irrelevant both without and within and thus that system is on life support.

The result of 34 utterless years? Twelve thousand, three hundred and eighty-eight days of corked, unstable explosiveness about my fellow man.

My blog will be eclectic, with comments about the present, the past, a bit of humor, and a good dose of learned philosophy, along with occasional chapters of the autobiography I am writing called, “The Life and Times of a Nobody.”

It may please and anger you in equal measure and be absorbing to no one but me.

But you are welcome to follow me on Medium.com

Richard Kimball – Vote Smart Founder

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