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RNC in CLE: Ohio auditor performs at RNC, singing new protest song he wrote

by Marc Kovac | Capital Bureau Chief Published: July 21, 2016 5:55 PM
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Columbus --Dave Yost started playing guitar when he was a sophomore in high school.

He said was initially a trumpet guy but learned quickly that that instrument wasn't as cool with the ladies.

"I guess that worked, because the woman I've been married to for 36 years, I met her playing guitar," Yost said of his wife, Darlene.

The current Republican state auditor has been into music ever since. On July 20 in Cleveland, he was on stage, performing as part of a concert featuring the Marshall Tucker Band for delegates to the Republican National Convention.

Part of his playlist included a protest song he wrote, titled "Where Were You?" A studio version of the tune, on compact disc, was distributed by the Ohio Republican Party this week in Cleveland.

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Performed on his vintage acoustic guitar, Yost's song sounds a lot like the "sort of folky, country kind of things" that he enjoyed during the Richard Nixon era -- bands like America, James Taylor and Dan Fogelberg.

Yost said he started writing it a decade ago, though the themes are still relevant in today. He called it a "conservative protest song" with a double meaning.

"One is a challenge to the politicians who sell us out -- who say one thing and do another -- the corruption of no fundamental beliefs," he said. "But the other prong of it is where were you when all of this was happening, because we have self governance in America, and if we have a corrupt, nasty government, ultimately that's back on our decisions as we the people. It's both an indictment against corrupt folks in the political class and a challenge to the citizens -- where are you going to be when all of this stuff happens?"

The impetus behind the song wasn't any particular presidential candidate, including current GOP nominee Donald Trump.

Yost said he finished writing the song in 2010, long before a Trump candidacy was evident.

Yost was not a Trump fan and has been critical of the billionaire businessman's campaign. But Yost said July 21 that he would vote for Trump, joining other Republicans in getting behind the man who will face presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in November.

"As I've spent time thinking about this, most decisions of government don't get made by the elected office-holder/," he said. "I can drive any decision, I can get involved in anything in my office that I want to, but I can't get involved in everything. In fact, most of the things that get decided on a day-to-day basis, ten of thousands of decisions in the course of a year, are made by this team, this group of people who's judgment I trust."

He added, "I know what kind of a team Hillary Clinton is going to have around her, and they are people that I disagree with on everything -- what's your tax policy look like, what is the size of government, what are the proper missions of government? My misgivings about Mr. Trump as a candidate have not faded/ [But] I would rather have Donald Trump picking the tens of thousands of people over the course of a presidential term that will make the decisions that are more consistent with the way I view a free country."

Marc Kovac is the Dix Capital Bureau Chief. Email him at mkovac@dixcom.com or on Twitter at OhioCapitalBlog.

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