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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

Iowa Democrats defy marriage vote pleas

Democrats in the Iowa legislature killed efforts Thursday to bring the gay marriage issue to the ballot, rejecting the pleas of hundreds of demonstrators who flooded the state Capitol in a bid to get legislators on the record for one battle in a same-sex marriage war brewing for the 2010 elections. Published April 10, 2009

Tancredo takes cause to home turf

After wrapping up his bid for the Republican presidential nomination and stepping away from Congress, Tom Tancredo came home to Colorado this year with visions of semiretirement. Published April 7, 2009

Group gains against Electoral College

A movement to bypass the Electoral College and elect the president based on the popular vote is gaining steam, racking up almost one-fifth of the support needed to trigger the plan. Published April 6, 2009

Iowa court: Same-sex marriage legal

The Iowa Supreme Court legalized same-sex marriage Friday, shifting the cultural debate on such unions toward the nation's heartland and away from the more liberal coasts. Published April 4, 2009

Senator not surprised by illegals bill vote

Colorado state Sen. Ted Harvey said he wasn't surprised to learn that a key vote on a bill to grant in-state tuition to illegal immigrants had been rescheduled after he went out of town to care for an Alzheimer's-afflicted relative in deteriorating health. Published April 3, 2009

Jury says professor wrongly booted

Former professor Ward Churchill won his wrongful-dismissal lawsuit against the University of Colorado on Thursday, but was awarded just $1 in damages though he may get his job back. Published April 3, 2009

Colo. Dems expedite illegals tuition bill

A proposal to grant in-state tuition to illegal immigrants passed out of a Colorado state Senate committee this week after Democrats moved up a vote on the bill to coincide with a Republican opponent's absence from the state on a family emergency. Published April 2, 2009

ACLU takes walk-on role in 'Rent' flap

A Southern California high school that briefly canceled the gay-themed musical "Rent" has been sued by the American Civil Liberties Union for sanctioning a "sexist and homophobic" atmosphere on campus. Published March 29, 2009

Diocese wins ruling in property dispute

A Colorado judge ruled Tuesday that a breakaway Episcopal congregation in Colorado Springs must return its church building to the diocese, marking the latest chapter in the ongoing national exodus from the Episcopal Church. Published March 25, 2009

Pestered Prop 8 donors file suit

After giving $10,000 to California's Proposition 8 campaign last year, Charles LiMandri began receiving some unexpected correspondence. Published March 23, 2009

Ex-professor blames firing on smears

Former University of Colorado professor Ward Churchill went to court Tuesday in a bid to get his job back, contending that he never committed plagiarism and was instead jettisoned for likening Sept. 11 victims to Nazi bureaucrats when blaming what he called unjust U.S. policy for the terrorist attacks. Published March 11, 2009

Dobson resigns as Focus chairman

James Dobson, one of the nation's most powerful evangelicals, has resigned as chairman of Focus on the Family, the conservative Christian organization he founded 32 years ago. Published February 28, 2009

Dobson steps down as FOF chairman

Evangelical leader James Dobson has resigned as chairman of Focus on the Family, the conservative Christian organization he founded 32 years ago. Published February 27, 2009

Colorado's oldest newspaper closes

The Rocky Mountain News, the oldest newspaper in Colorado, will publish its last edition Friday after owners failed to secure a buyer for the financially strapped daily, making it the latest casualty in an increasingly shaky newspaper industry. Published February 27, 2009

Lawsuits challenge sanctuary policies

UPDATED: Margaret Rains and Haley Tepe were sitting down to enjoy ice cream at a Baskin-Robbins in Aurora, Colo., when a sport utility vehicle driven by an illegal immigrant sent two cars plowing into the shop, leaving three dead and the two women injured. Published February 25, 2009

Bill calls human embryo 'person'

The North Dakota Legislature is taking center stage in the abortion debate as it moves to define a fertilized human egg as a person — an effort viewed largely as a vehicle to challenge the Supreme Court's 1973 decision legalizing abortion. Published February 24, 2009

Calif. budget dumps furniture

The California Legislature ended its three-month budget impasse Thursday, but not before axing state Controller John Chiang's plans for new office furniture. Published February 20, 2009

Fake-rifle student returning to school

A Colorado high school student expelled for having fake drill-team rifles in her car was cleared Friday to return to school. Published February 14, 2009

Student in hot water for mock rifles

Marie Morrow, an honors student and drill-team commander in the Young Marines, isn't the kind of student who normally gets expelled. Published February 13, 2009