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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

Sen. Mark Udall, Colorado Democrat, is still embracing President Obama and refusing to support to the Keystone XL pipeline, even though he is running neck and neck with his GOP challenger. (Associated Press)

Sen. Mark Udall embraces Obama, not pipeline

Other vulnerable Senate Democrats in tight re-election battles are embracing the Keystone XL pipeline and stiff-arming President Obama — but not Colorado's Mark Udall. Published June 16, 2014

**FILE** Attorneys Theodore Boutrous (second from left) and Marcellus McRae (third from left), representing nine California public school students who are suing the state to abolish its laws on teacher tenure, seniority, and other protections, walk to a news conference outside the Los Angeles Superior Court on Jan. 27, 2014. Their case Vergara v. California is the latest battle in a growing nationwide challenge to union-backed protections for teachers. (Associated Press)

Calif. judge rules teacher tenure policies unconstitutional

In a stunning defeat for teachers' unions, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge found Tuesday that job-security policies such as teacher tenure are unconstitutional because they cause disproportionate harm to poor and minority students. Published June 10, 2014

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton pounds her fist as she testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 23, 2013, before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on the deadly September attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, that killed Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and three other Americans. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

Clinton defends Obama's prisoner exchange

Former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton defended the Obama administration's hotly debated prisoner swap Sunday, saying the circumstances behind the American soldier's capture don't matter. Published June 8, 2014

Pakistani commandos get ready to enter Karachi airport terminal following attacks by unknown gunmen on Sunday night, June 8, 2014, in Pakistan. Gunmen stormed an airport terminal used for VIPs and cargo in Pakistan's largest city on Sunday night, killing and wounding scores of people, officials said. (AP Photo/Shakil Adil)

Gunmen kill 13 people at Pakistan airport

Heavily armed gunmen attacked Pakistan’s busiest airport late Sunday, killing 13 people and touching off a gunfight with police and military commandos. Published June 8, 2014

New York City Councilman Corey Johnson, left, and U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, right, applaud during a press conference outside The Stonewall Inn to announce a national initiative for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Americans on Friday May 30, 2014 in New York.  Jewel said the National Park Service will begin marking places of significance for LGBT Americans to mark their contributions to state and U.S. history.  (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

Remote town sues feds over blocked road project

The Aleut community of King Cove, Alaska, filed a lawsuit Wednesday against the Interior Department over its refusal to allow the construction of a 10-mile gravel road to an all-weather airport. Published June 4, 2014

Lori Fisher of Arroyo Grande, Calif., casts her vote in the primary election Tuesday, June 3, 2014, at the San Luis Obispo South County Regional Center in San Luis Obispo, Calif. California holds its primaries under its unusual all-candidates system, in which the top two finishers, regardless of party, face off in November. (AP Photo/The Santa Maria Times, Daniel Dreifuss)

California secession organizers encouraged despite split vote

California voters in two northern rural counties split the difference Tuesday on two ballot measures aimed at carving out a 51st state called Jefferson, but the half-loaf result hasn't discouraged the movement's organizers. Published June 4, 2014

51st state on the ballot in California

Having once dismissed the movement, state labor unions and Democrats are scrambling to snuff the growing 51st state movement in Northern California, campaigning against two county measures that go before voters Tuesday. Published June 2, 2014

**FILE** Smoke rises from the Colstrip Steam Electric Station, a coal burning power plant in in Colstrip, Mont., on July 1, 2013. Colstrip is kind of plant called on by President Barack Obama's climate change plan to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. On Feb. 24, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on the unanimous federal appeals court ruling that upheld the Environmental Protection Agency's unprecedented regulations, aimed at reducing the greenhouse gases blamed for global warming. The case comes to the court amid Obama's increasing use of his executive authority to act on environmental and other matters when Congress doesn't, or won't. (Associated Press)

Media 'hedging' on climate change?

Global warming activists say that man-made climate change is "settled science" backed by almost all researchers, but a new Colorado study finds that rising doubts are creeping into the coverage of the issue in the press. Published June 2, 2014