Eagle Forum Calls on Utah's Political Leaders

Eagle Forum Calls on Utah's Political Leaders

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(American Fork-AP) -- Republican legislators and gubernatorial candidates flocked to the Utah Eagle Forum's annual convention -- but two of its key speakers failed to show.

The Eagles' conservative influence could be gauged at yesterday's convention by the turnout of Republican legislators and eight candidates for governor, who took turns speaking to the crowd.

Daren Jensen, whose struggle with child-welfare authorities gave new vigor to the parents-rights movement, missed Saturday's convention to pursue a job opportunity.

Mormon church author W. Cleon Skousen also was unable to attend because of a bout of shingles, but was honored with the forum's Freedom Award.

The convention drew a crowd of about 200 to a daylong primer on Utah's moral-issues agenda.

There were forums on enacting laws to define marriage as an exclusive union of men and women, blunt the powers of government child-protection agencies and stop Internet pornography.

Republican activist Nancy Lord urged attendees to use a "carrot-and-stick" approach with legislators.

The 45-day legislative session will start Monday, and Governor Olene Walker will deliver her State of the State address to the Legislature on Thursday.

Motivating the Eagles, a conservative force in Utah, is the opportunity to elect a new governor this November.

(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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