Some say Representative Ed Fallon of Des Moines is a poltiician who dances to the beat of a different drummer. He is a democrat, but he endorsed independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader in 2000. He has often been the only “no” vote on bills that clear the 100-member Iowa House. And his gubernatorial campaign will run on the energy of volunteers rather than on big money donations. On St. Patrick’s Day morning, Fallon played the Irish whistle in a group of musicians who performed in the Iowa House, but he said it had nothing to do with his campaign.”If you were to show up in a bar in Ireland on any given night actually, this is pretty much what you’d see, people sitting around in a circle, playing music, pretty casually,” Fallon told the crowd in the House. “The only thing missing is tall pints of Guiness, but we weren’t allowed to do that here.” Fallon said the most important feature of St. Patrick’s Day, for him, has always been the music. Fallon’s grandparents were both Irish and arrived in the U-S during the Great Depression. Faloon’s father’s Irish, and Fallon has been back to Ireland several times. Fallon’s non-coformist ways manifested themselves in 1999, when he wore a sweatshirt to Governor Vilsack’s inauguaation ceremony. “They made me wear a tie every day growing up. I went to Catholic school growing up,” he said during an interview with Radio Iowa. “Maybe that’s one reason I’m not a big fan of wearing a tie.” Fallon said how you dress shouldn’t be that big a deal. “People often look down on people who don’t dress well and sometimes those who don’t dress well don’t trust those who dress well, again, all for the wrong reasons,” Fallon said. “Really, we ought to be able to look beyond attire and look at the substance behind the person.” Fallon’s wife plays the harp, and the two have a St. Patrick’s evening gig in Ames. He’ll play the whistle again. He also plays an Irish drum, the accordian and the guitar.
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