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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

President Obama congratulates graduates of the 2012 class of the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs on Wednesday. (Associated Press)

Obama makes case for defense cuts

President Obama made the case for his proposed defense cuts Wednesday in his commencement speech at the Air Force Academy, calling for a leaner but better-prepared military ready to deal with a range of threats. Published May 23, 2012

Colorado House Speaker Frank McNulty talks in the House chamber at the Capitol in Denver on Monday, May 14, 2012, after lawmakers rejected a civil-unions bill in front of hundreds of observers. It was the second time within a week the bill failed. (AP Photo/Denver Post, Helen H. Richardson)

Civil-unions battle uncivil in Colo.

Even with President Obama "evolving" his way to support of gay marriage, the politics of the issue are playing out in the states, with potentially large consequences for the vote in November. Published May 15, 2012

Sen. Orrin Hatch (center) is facing a re-election challenge from fellow Republicans state Rep. Chris Herrod (left) and former state Sen. Dan Liljenquist. All three participated in a debate April 4. Delegates at a weekend state convention will vote for the party's nominee. Mr. Hatch is seeking a seventh term and two recent polls of likely voters bolster his chances. (The Salt Lake Tribune via Associated Press)

Hatch's re-election bid looking more secure

As Utah Republicans prepare to nominate a Senate candidate this weekend, it appears that Sen. Orrin Hatch may have bucked the anti-incumbent trend. Published April 19, 2012

George Zimmerman stands with a Seminole County deputy during a court hearing Thursday in Sanford, Fla. He is charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. He acknowledged only his presence. (Associated Press)

Force behind 'stand your ground’ bows to pressure from liberal groups

The American Legislative Exchange Council, the low-profile but high-impact force behind a wave of conservative-oriented legislative initiatives across the country, said Tuesday it was dropping the task force that helped produce some of its most contentious bills. Published April 17, 2012

Rick Santorum, a former Republican presidential candidate, prepares to speak at the National Rifle Association convention in St. Louis on Friday. Several delegates said they would back Mr. Santorum until he endorsed another candidate. (Associated Press)

Romney receives Colorado message

Mitt Romney's had a good couple of weeks, but Colorado conservatives let him know over the weekend that he's still got some wooing to do. Published April 15, 2012

George Zimmerman stands with a Seminole County deputy during a court hearing Thursday in Sanford, Fla. He is charged with second-degree murder in the shooting death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. He acknowledged only his presence. (Associated Press)

Zimmerman appears in Fla. court

Suspect George Zimmerman made his first appearance in a Florida courtroom Thursday, the day after he was charged with second-degree murder in the racially charged shooting death of black teenager Trayvon Martin. Published April 12, 2012

Hal Uhrig (right) and Craig Sonner withdrew as defense attorneys for George Zimmerman, the man who claims self-defense in the fatal shooting of black teenager Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Fla. "We're concerned for his emotional and physical safety," Mr. Uhrig said at a Tuesday news conference, saying that their client had cut off all contact and that he had left the state. (Associated Press)

Zimmerman cuts off contact with lawyers

Attorneys for George Zimmerman announced Tuesday that their client has cut off contact with them, forcing them to withdraw as his legal counsel in the fatal shooting of an unarmed teenager in Florida. Published April 10, 2012

George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer in Sanford, Fla., who shot unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin on Feb. 26, 2012, is seen at left in booking photo provided by the Orange County Jail via the Miami Herald following a 2005 arrest, and at right in an undated but recent photo of Zimmerman taken from the Orlando Sentinel's website. (Associated Press)

Zimmerman puts up website to get out his side of story

George Zimmerman has launched a website to solicit support and donations, speaking out for the first time since his February shooting of an unarmed black teenager in Florida ignited a national outcry on race and justice. Published April 10, 2012

Students with empty holsters protest gun bans on campus

On the same day that a gunman killed seven students at a small California Christian university, hundreds of college students across the nation went to class wearing empty holsters on their hips. Published April 3, 2012

Pro-life spat takes NPR station to ethics board

The National Public Radio station in Seattle is going before an ethics board Saturday after a pro-life media group filed a complaint accusing the station of airing a slanted story. Published March 29, 2012

** FILE ** In this Oct. 14, 2011, file photo, Mike and Chantell Sackett of Priest Lake, Idaho, pose for a photo in front of the Supreme Court in Washington. The Supreme Court ruled unanimously Wednesday that property owners have a right to prompt review by a judge of an important tool used by the Environmental Protection Agency to address water pollution. (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari, File)

Court backs Idaho couple in battle with EPA

An Idaho couple facing ruinous fines for attempting to build a home on private property that the federal government considered protected wetlands may challenge an order from the Environmental Protection Agency, the Supreme Court ruled Wednesday in a unanimous decision. Published March 21, 2012

**FILE** Indianapolis Colts quarterback Peyton Manning (18) greets Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow before the Colts' 27-13 win in Denver on Sept. 26, 2010. (Associated Press)

Broncos stick necks out for Manning; will Tebow stay?

The spirits of Colorado football fans soared a mile high when word broke Monday morning that future Hall of Fame quarterback Peyton Manning had decided to play for the Denver Broncos. They just had one request: Keep Tim Tebow, too. Published March 19, 2012