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   Candy politics: Lawmakers stock goodies from home

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8/21/2004 12:00 am

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General

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Entered 9/5/2004, Updated 9/5/2004

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Eight-year-old Haley Oellerman played with the cap from her long-necked bottle of cream soda, waiting with her parents to tour the U.S. Capitol. Her drink is a little taste of home, from Fitz's vintage bottling works in St. Louis. Oellerman lives in nearby Defiance, Mo. It's a tradition in Washington to offer goodies made back home - think Ronald Reagan, passing Jelly Belly jelly beans to Cabinet members. Visitors to Washington can get chocolate from California, Pennsylvania peanut chews and even New York-brewed beer when they call on their members of Congress. For Missouri Sen. Jim Talent, who stocks the Fitz's in his glass-fronted fridge, nostalgia is part of the fun. "Cream soda - doesn't that bring back memories? Cream soda on a summer afternoon. Fried chicken and cream soda, I'll tell you," Talent said in an interview.


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