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Valerie Richardson

Valerie Richardson

Valerie Richardson covers politics and the West from Denver. She can be reached at

Articles by Valerie Richardson

Dissenters in GOP rethink Electoral College

A once-sleepy movement that would upend the Electoral College, reverse two centuries of constitutional practice and elect presidents by direct popular vote has quietly picked up momentum in recent days, with Republican Party leaders scrambling to stanch a steady stream of defections by GOP state lawmakers to the plan. Published June 2, 2011

Birth papers hit book sales

The release of President Obama's long-form birth certificate may have failed to satisfy hard-core skeptics, but it did drive a dagger through the initial sales of "Where's the Birth Certificate? The Case That Barack Obama Is Not Eligible to Be President," by Jerome Corsi. Published May 18, 2011

Gay judge's disclosure raises bias questions

To hear them describe it, defenders of traditional marriage during last year's trial on California's Proposition 8 felt like the visiting team in a game with a hometown referee. Published April 26, 2011

Online players frustrated by poker crackdown

The cards have gone cold on the nation's booming poker industry since the Justice Department reshuffled the deck with a stunning crackdown on online poker gambling sites. Published April 20, 2011

Appeals court overturns Day of Prayer ban

A federal appeals court Thursday threw out a ruling that would have prohibited the president from declaring a National Day of Prayer, in a decision that cheered social conservatives and occasioned much wailing and gnashing of teeth by groups advocating a strict separation of church and state. Published April 14, 2011

Environmentalists suffer on key budget provisions

The biggest losers in the federal budget deal may have been environmentalists, who suffered setbacks not only with cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency budget but also with the shellacking of two of the movement's pet programs. Published April 13, 2011

**FILE** Republican Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker answers news media questions March 31 after a circuit judge forced him to halt implementing a law that cripples collective bargaining. (Associated Press)

Campaigns to recall 16 Wis. senators called 'unprecedented'

Weeks of protests at the state Capitol in Madison over the Republican budget proposal were followed by a contentious campaign to turn out a state Supreme Court justice. Now the state Senate is facing a total recall. Published April 11, 2011

Donna Deuster, assistant city clerk, verifies security tags on sealed bags of 15,600 ballots cast in Racine, Wis. The ballots may have to be recounted in the wake of the narrow margin of victory in the state Supreme Court race. (Associated Press)

Labor-backed candidate for Wis. court justice leads

Wisconsin voters are likely to face the first statewide recount in more than 20 years after unofficial results in the fractious state Supreme Court race showed a paper-thin margin of victory for the labor-backed candidate in a race that centered on the power of public-employees unions. Published April 6, 2011

Justice's race now a governor's referendum

An ordinarily humdrum vote on whether to retain a Wisconsin state Supreme Court justice has exploded into a bare-knuckles referendum on Gov. Scott Walker's recently signed law curbing the power of public-employee unions. Published April 4, 2011

"There's more than one way to get to the goal, ... I'm going to find a way to get our budget balanced," says Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown. (Bloomberg)

California looking into a $26 billion abyss

The breakdown of budget negotiations this week between California Gov. Jerry Brown and legislative Republicans leaves the state with a handful of options for handling the $26 billion deficit, none of them particularly attractive. Published March 30, 2011

Brown urges tax measure on ballot

California Gov. Jerry Brown wouldn't top anyone's list of tax-and-spend liberals. Famous for his frugality, he ushered in his latest stint as governor by replacing the sleek boardroom table in his new office with a hard, wooden picnic table. Published March 28, 2011

OUSTED: Elizabeth Wrigley-Field of Madison, Wis., is escorted out of the Wisconsin State Capitol Assembly Room lobby in Madison on Thursday after staying overnight with other demonstrators there. (Associated Press)

Wis. governor signs bill limiting unions' power

Capping weeks of political drama and open political warfare with the state's public-sector unions, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker on Friday quietly signed landmark legislation reining in the power of public-employee unions after a pitched battle over collective bargaining that shows no signs of abating. Published March 10, 2011

MARCH SADNESS: Brandon Davies has been suspended from the BYU basketball team for the rest of the season for violating the school's honor code. (Associated Press)

BYU hoops star suspended for sex acts

The same behavior that cost Brandon Davies the rest of his basketball season at Brigham Young University might have earned him an "A" at Northwestern. Published March 3, 2011

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins (Associated Press)

House GOP eyes DOMA defense

House Republicans and conservative groups are working together behind the scenes to fill the legal void created Wednesday when the Obama administration announced that it would no longer defend the federal law banning gay marriage. Published February 24, 2011

Obama gets out of way of gay marriage

The Obama administration announced Wednesday that it had withdrawn its legal support for the federal Defense of Marriage Act, stating that the law is unconstitutional and therefore the administration is under no obligation to defend it. Published February 23, 2011