1. What’s the most rewarding job you’ve held?
Mark Jacobs: “Husband and father. I think at the end of the day that’s the fabric of who we are as a people.”
2. First job you ever had?
Jacobs: “Delivering newspapers for the Des Moines Tribune and then the Des Moines Register.”
3. Describe your worldview and what role that would play in your decisions as U.S. Senator:
Jacobs: “I have a biblical worldview. I can’t separate me Christian from me anything I do. It’s a part of who I am. That’s how I think and that’s how I make decisions.”
4. What is the purpose of the federal government?
Jacobs: “The purpose of the federal government first and foremost is to provide national security. I see a very limited role for the federal government beyond that. I don’t think there’s any question the federal government has grown way too large and far beyond anything our founding fathers could’ve ever imagined.”
5. What books, family influences and/or historical figures have had the most influence on you?
Jacobs: “Historical figures — I’m a big (Abe) Lincoln fan. I’m a huge Lincoln fan. Obviously my parents growing up were huge idols. My dad was the hard-driven, small-business man. He was the disciplinarian of the house. Mom dealt with everything with such incredible grace. My mom actually played a role in dad’s business. He had her call on all the past due accounts. I look at that and say my mom is the sweetest lady ever, you’d think you’d want somebody real big, tough and threatening. We all laugh because mom kept us in business. As for readings I have tried to read a lot of newspapers. I wish I had more time for more leisure reading, but I don’t. I try to follow sports with what limited spare time I have.”
6. What are the issues you consider non-negotiable?
Jacobs: “In terms of integrity, the core values of who I am — hard work, integrity, honesty. In terms of politics, I believe very much in the principles of conservatism — a small federal government, individual liberty and personal responsibility. I’m prepared to work with people and get creative about how we can make progress on the things that need to get done. I am prepared to work with people who have different points of view if we can get them brought on board with things that are moving the ball in the right direction.”
7. What is the law and where does the law come from?
Jacob: “There’s obviously God’s law, which comes out of the Bible. You start there and add civil law on top of it.”
8. At what point do you believe a human life is guaranteed the legal protections of being an American citizen and what would you do to ensure those protections are provided?
Jacobs: “I am pro-life. I recognize that can be a deeply difficult decision. The only exceptions I can get comfortable with are instances of the life of the mother or rape or incest. I’d support any legislation consistent with that position. I’d have to see specific language of (a Personhood bill). There are a lot of different types of those, but I’d support any legislation consistent with my beliefs and exceptions I highlighted.”
9. A lot has changed under the current administration with regards to the definition of marriage. What’s your position and what is your end game for the debate?
Jacobs: “Personally I believe a marriage is between one man and one woman, but I think that’s an issue best left to the states. The Arizona bill was a state law. I’m not aware of anything like that coming up in the federal government. I’m very concerned about the infringement on religious liberty. If you go back to our founding, that’s one of the core principles our country was founded on, freedom of religion, not freedom from it, as some would have you believe today. I’ll do everything in my power to uphold that. One of my primary roles would be the appointment of judges. What I can tell you there is I believe very strongly in examining the judicial record of anybody who is nominated for that type of position and I absolutely will vote against anybody who has a history of legislating from the bench. Judges are there to uphold the Constitution.”
10. What is your position on ObamaCare?
Jacobs: “We need to repeal ObamaCare and replace it with consumer, market-driven solutions.”
11. Whatabout illegal immigration and the Senate’s Gang of Eight bill?
Jacobs: “I would not have supported that. I don’t think that, first and foremost, it secured the border. To me that’s the price of entry before we talk about anything else. The first thing we need to do is secure the border. To me it is inexcusable that we cannot secure the borders of the United States of America. The second thing we need to do is hold our employers accountable to make sure the people they employ in their businesses have the legal right to live and work in this country. Our government needs to provide businesses the tools that they can do that. Once that’s done we need to modernize our immigration process. We need to deal with people who are here illegally. I do not support amnesty. My view is they have broken our laws and there should be a fine and penalty for having done so. I do support the idea that once they have made those retributions they can stay here under a guest worker program. I do not support the idea that anybody who came to this country illegally could ever move on to a position of citizenship or voting rights.”
12. Can we prevent more mass shootings at schools, malls and movie theaters through legislation while preserving the Second Amendment?
Jacobs:“This is one of the problems we have in Washington — politicians attacking the symptom of a problem rather than the root cause. I don’t believe those incidents of mass violence are caused by the availability of a firearm. I’d be prepared to have a conversation on what could be done to stop (the mass shootings), but I think that’s a conversation on mental health and the desensitization of violence, not a conversation about second amendment rights. I believe our rights flow from God. Our Second Amendment makes it clear the right to bear arms is not to be infringed upon. That’s pretty black and white.”
13. What about the EPA, climate change, cap and trade and that issue?
Jacobs: “I think climate science is a very, very complex topic that we are really only just beginning to scratch the surface of. As I said, I believe the planet warms and cools all the time, that’s what it’s done through history. I’m not sold man-made causes are contributing to that, period.”
14. What about the IRS?
Jacobs: “Very abusive, very problematic. It’s one of the symptoms of a government that’s grown to be too big and too abusive. Another one being used is selective filing of FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) requests. There have been 27 requests made by Democratic groups, one of them directed at me for all of the correspondence I’ve ever had with the EPA or the company I worked for. All of those got promptly filled. Requests by Republican groups for FOIA requests, not one has been filled. This is the next level of the government using its abusive power to tilt the playing field. What’s happened in the IRS is absolutely dead wrong, but it’s not just the IRS and it’s not just the NSA.”
15. Have you ever supported raising a tax and if so which ones? Are there any current taxes you would support increasing?
16. What about the NSA and balancing security with our right to privacy?
Jacobs: “I think we do have to strike that right balance. There’s a concept we have in law enforcement today and that’s probable cause. We should not be out there snooping (without probable cause). That concept makes a lot of sense. I think there are a couple areas we could do a better job with. If we would’ve run a program like this in the corporate world, we would’ve had two things. First, appropriate oversight. Congress did not fully fulfill its obligation to provide oversight and the second thing would be an appropriate whistleblower program. On one hand, I’m very glad Edward Snowden raised the concerns he did. It’s a travesty he’s sitting in Russia now and divulging our national security secrets. Had we had an appropriate whistleblower program in the U.S. we could’ve gotten the benefits of the spotlight on this without the negative consequences.”
17. What about the situation in Egypt, which has brought to light the issue of foreign aid?
Jacobs: “We spend $37 billion a year on foreign aid. That’s something I look at quite simply as an investment. I look at that and ask if we’ll get a return on our investment that we make on foreign aid. If the answer is no, we shouldn’t do it. If the answer is yes, we should do it.”
18. What role should the federal government have in public education?
Jacobs: “In K-12, I don’t really see one.”
19. What’s the role of the courts and what is or what are some of the worst decisions in the Supreme Court’s history?
Jacobs: “The role of the courts is to uphold the Constitution and to make sure laws are passed that are consistent with the Constitution and not in conflict with it. The role of the courts is to resolve disputes. Some of the worst Supreme Court decisions, there’s a lot, the ones to me where we see legislation from the bench where the court goes beyond what people have chosen to do in elections. There’s a host of those you can pick from.”
20. Favorite politician in U.S. history?
Jacobs: “Lincoln, and for Iowa I’d go Bob Ray. I’m a big Bob Ray fan.”