State Senator Dennis Guth (R-Klemme) represents Iowa Senate District 4 that includes Emmet, Kossuth, Winnebago, Hancock, and Wright Counties. Guth is running for reelection and is unopposed in the Republican primary on June 7th and currently does not have an opponent in the general election.
Guth has lived in Hancock County all his life. He received his B.S. in Agricultural Mechanization from I.S.U. in 1977 and married Margaret Campbell in 1978. They will celebrate 38 years of marriage this June and are the parents of 5 children and are awaiting the birth of their 8th grandchild.
Guth has served in many community organizations including economic development, Pork Producers, county Farm Bureau and Church boards. He was precinct chair for the Ell township Republicans for 18 years and helped organize LUV Iowa, a grassroots organization that worked to remove 3 Supreme Court justices in 2010. He also served on the board of directors for the Family Leader from 2010 until he announced his candidacy for Iowa Senate in August of 2011.
Guth was elected to the Iowa Senate in 2012 and had been a strong advocate for protecting life from the moment of conception, traditional marriage, smaller government and respecting the original intent of our Constitution.
Guth completed a survey that Caffeinated Thoughts sent to all legislative candidates.
Why do you want to serve as a state legislator?
It is my responsibility as a Christian to be involved in the process of government in whatever capacity God calls me to serve. I desire to stand for Biblical Truth in the legislature and to bring the light of Christ into that environment.
Describe your worldview and what role that would play as a state legislator:
The Word of God is to be my guide in all areas of life. All life comes from God and we should respect life at all stages and in all circumstances. God designed man and woman, marriage, the Church, and government for His purposes. God expects me to treat my neighbor as I would want to be treated, He does not ask me to take other people’s money and give it to those who have less. It is my responsibility to respond to the needs of those around me personally. The Constitution should be interpreted literally as it was originally intended. If we perceive a need to change the Constitution, there is a process established by which that should be done. We should not allow the courts, the executive branch or non-elected bureaucrats to make law.
Your top three issues of concern are?
a) Respect for life from conception to natural death.
b) Religious liberty – the right to live and work according to your own beliefs without being intimidated by government to conform to a politically correct standard.
c) The preservation of one man/one woman marriage as the standard for our society.
What is your position on education, in particular Common Core, Next Generation Science Standards, Iowa Core and high stakes testing?
Education should be directed by parents, not government. Common Core seems to be an effort to take away local control and give it to the “educational elites” who think they know what our kids need to learn. I am also concerned with information gathered about a student and how it is used. Iowa Core seems to support many of the same standards while making it appear that Iowa is making its own standards. As I talked with a veteran and well known school superintendent, I learned that Iowa is marked down in how its state programs are ranked because we emphasize local control. If that is part of the ranking system, I am very glad that Iowa is not ranked higher. It is well known that competition improves output while decreasing costs to consumers. We should use the same principles to improve the quality of our schools. I support education savings accounts that would give parents more choices for their children’s education.
How do you define local control in education?
Local control should give as much power as possible to the parents and their directly elected local school boards. When a school board gets out of line, parents have the ability to replace those board members. Parents have no control over the Department of Education since they are not elected.
When does someone become a person and at what point should they be granted all constitutional protections of a person under the law?
A new person should be protected from the moment that a new set of chromosomes exist. That would be the at the point of conception. I submitted a Constitutional Amendment that would give full protection to all persons at any stage of development in 2014.
Do you support recently passed legislation in the Iowa House allowing kids under 14 to use handguns with parental supervision:
Do you support Constitutional carry and the Second Amendment:
Do you support raising any taxes. And, have you supported raising any taxes in the past? If so, which ones?
I have not supported any new taxes in my 4 years in office. My freshman year I voted for a small fee to be assessed to Liquid Propane to be used for safety promotion (I think it was 1/10th of a cent per gallon). It was not collected by government, but by the industry itself. I would rethink that before voting for it again.
What will you do as a state legislator to lessen the tax burden on farmers and small businesses?
I will support a reduction in regulations and in the business tax rate. Reductions should be across the board, not just targeted to one segment of industry.
Do you support traditional marriage and is there anything you hope to do as a state legislator regarding marriage and how?
I strongly support one man/one woman marriage and I have submitted the Iowa Marriage Amendment in both General Assemblies that I have been a part of. The Amendment says that Iowa would recognize only one man/one woman marriage. The majority party saw that a sub-committee was never held for this Amendment. I would also support legislation that would incentivize couples to remain married while they have children under the age of 18 in the home.
What is your position on Christians refusing service at same-sex weddings?
The people of Iowa should be able to live and work according to their own personally held convictions. That means that they should not be forced to take part in celebrations that oppose their beliefs. I submitted a Religious Liberty Restoration Act last session that would give protection to people that refuse to act against their firmly held beliefs. This bill also never had a sub-committee meeting.
What will you do as legislator, if anything, to strengthen religious liberty?
I submitted the Religious Liberty Restoration Act (also called the Conscience Protection Act) that would restore our religious liberties as cited in the First Amendment to the Federal Constitution and I submitted a Government Nondiscrimination Act which prohibited government from discriminating against a person because of their beliefs about marriage. I will do so again.
Do you support allowing Syrian refugees into Iowa?
No. I think that we can help establish a safe zone in their part of the world.
What type of pro-life bills would you support?
I have submitted a Personhood Constitutional Amendment. We must be careful when writing prolife bills that we do not say things that make certain cases for abortion ok, or it will be used against us in the future. I believe we are gaining support on the life issue and we must continue to push for a ban on ALL abortion.
Should taxpayer money pay for Planned Parenthood?
Taxpayer money should not support any abortion provider in any way. I am a part of the group of legislators that are working to defund abortion providers and I WILL NOT vote for any bill that provides funding to a provider of abortion.
In what circumstances would you go against the leadership of your own caucus if elected?
If my leadership supports a Health and Human Services Bill that includes money for abortion providers, I will not vote with the caucus. That would also be the case for Religious Liberty. My first responsibility is to God, then my family, my church and my constituents.