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Valerie Richardson

Valerie Richardson

Valerie Richardson covers politics and the West from Denver. She can be reached at [email protected].

Articles by Valerie Richardson

Homes are left in ruins after being destroyed by the Waldo Canyon Fire in the Mountain Shadows neighborhood of Colorado Springs, Colo., on Monday, July 2, 2012. The 28-square-mile wildfire, which has killed two people and destroyed nearly 350 homes, was 70 percent contained on Monday. (AP Photo/Bryan Oller)

Global warming seen as a factor in wildfires

A growing chorus of environmental groups is blaming climate change for the ferocity of this year's wildfires, heating up the debate over fire policy as wetter conditions brought relief to the Colorado front. Published July 3, 2012

"No, it's a penalty. It's a penalty that comes under the tax code for the 1 percent perhaps of the population who may decide that they are going to be free-riders." - House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat (Associated Press)

A 'tax' by any other name smells just as foul to GOP

The Supreme Court may call it a tax and Republicans may call it a tax, but Democrats insisted Sunday that the fee for noncompliance with the Affordable Care Act bears no resemblance to the T-word. Published July 1, 2012

**FILE** Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (Associated Press)

Conservatives bash court ruling at Western summit

Still reeling from Thursday's Supreme Court decision, conservatives gathered Saturday at the annual Western Conservative Summit to lick their wounds, shake their fists and vow to strike back in November. Published June 30, 2012

**FILE** A helicopters flies over as the Waldo Canyon fire continues to burn June 27, 2012, in Colorado Springs, Colo. (Associated Press)

Obama visits fire-ravaged Colorado

President Obama surveyed Friday the damage from the Waldo Canyon Fire in Colorado Springs, praising responders for their efforts and remarking on the enormity of the devastation. Published June 29, 2012

**FILE** Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer (Associated Press)

Arizona's AG: Court's ruling is 'a 70% win'

Arizona Republicans declared victory Monday after the Supreme Court upheld the key provision of the state's immigration law requiring police to check the status of suspected illegal immigrants during a lawful stop. Published June 25, 2012

Sen. Orrin G. Hatch of Utah has been put through a bruising campaign by Dan Liljenquist, a former state senator challenging the six-term incumbent in the state's Republican primary. Polls show Mr. Hatch still enjoying a sizable lead. (Deseret News via Associated Press)

Utah challenger a thorn in Hatch's side

If Dan Liljenquist falls short in Tuesday's Utah Republican Senate primary, it won't be for a lack of trying. The former state senator has waged a no-holds-barred campaign against six-term incumbent Sen. Orrin G. Hatch. Published June 24, 2012

San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders speaks June 5, 2012, in San Diego at a rally for supporters of Proposition B. (Associated Press)

California voters deal twin blows to unions

An election night that began with Wisconsin Republican Gov. Scott Walker winning his recall election grew progressively worse for public-sector unions as California voters approved steep pension-cutting measures in two major cities. Published June 6, 2012

** FILE ** In this June 5, 2012, file photo, gay marriage supporter Bob Sodervick holds a flag outside the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco. (Associated Press)

Prop 8 may go before high court

Supporters of traditional marriage announced Tuesday they will petition to bring California's Proposition 8 before the Supreme Court after a lower federal court refused to hear an appeal in the case. Published June 5, 2012

Dianne Feinstein

Laundry list California ballot has Feinstein, 23 others

California voters can head to the movies Tuesday to watch "Snow White and the Huntsman," or turn up at the ballot box to see something not much different: "Dianne Feinstein and the 23 Dwarfs." Published June 4, 2012

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican presidential candidate, holds a baby as he greets supporters after speaking at a campaign event in Craig, Colo., on Tuesday. (Associated Press)

Romney 'answers call' on energy in Colorado

A video from a Colorado coal town brought the Mitt Romney campaign to the community Tuesday, where he touted his pro-development energy strategy and blasted President Obama for tying the hands of the energy sector. Published May 29, 2012

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