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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

Health reform skeptics protest

Lawmakers returning home for the August recess will hear from conservative constituents about the Democrat-led Congress' proposed health care plans, if the organizers of a rally here Tuesday have their way. Published July 29, 2009

School head fights 'ethnic chauvinism' in Arizona

Tom Horne has two degrees from Harvard University. He participated in Martin Luther King's 1963 March on Washington. He's Arizona's superintendent of public instruction. Yet there he is, blasting classes that promote what he calls "ethnic chauvinism," calling for voters to oust school board members who support it and generally painting a target on his back for liberals and minority advocacy groups. Published July 28, 2009

Interior calls 'time out' on mining

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced Monday that he will place a two-year hold on the filing of new uranium and other hard-rock mining permits on 1 million acres near the Grand Canyon, prompting charges from mining groups of compromising U.S. energy security and of encouraging more dangerous mining abroad. Published July 21, 2009

Illegal acts, not sex, destroy political careers

Calls for South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford's resignation are intensifying in response to his confessed extramarital affair, but if recent history is any indication the governor doesn't need to start packing his bags just yet. Published July 6, 2009

Anesthetic found in Jackson's home

Free tickets to Michael Jackson's memorial service were made available Friday as reports surfaced that the powerful sedative Diprivan was found in the Los Angeles home where the pop star was living. Published July 4, 2009

Sanford's wife ready to forgive

The wife of South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford said Thursday that she is willing to forgive her husband for his affair with an Argentine woman, saying it "is essential for us both to move on with our lives." Published July 3, 2009

Taking race out of hiring and more

Arizona voters will soon have an opportunity to decide their stance on government-sponsored racial and gender preferences. The Arizona Legislature recently voted to place an anti-affirmative-action measure on the November 2010 ballot. Published June 30, 2009

Sanford used public funds to visit mistress

Embattled South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford admitted Thursday to meeting with his Argentine mistress last year during a taxpayer-funded trip to South America as he faced calls for his resignation and an investigation into his activities. Published June 26, 2009

Easter on her door leads to eviction

DENVER | A Colorado woman is going to court Wednesday after she was evicted for refusing to remove an array of Easter bunnies, chicks and other holiday decorations from her apartment door. Published June 23, 2009

Utah relaxing liquor laws to entice tourists

Utah's liquor laws are set to relax July 1, bringing them more in line with those of the rest of the nation, but don't expect Salt Lake City to morph into Sin City any time soon. Published June 22, 2009

N.Y. gay marriage bill may get new life

A New York bill legalizing same-sex marriage appeared dead in the water last week after Republicans overthrew the Democrat-controlled Senate, but reports of the legislation's demise may be greatly exaggerated. Published June 17, 2009

Mont. gun law challenges federal powers

A new Montana gun law puts the state at the forefront of a national bid to restore states' rights by attacking up to a century of federal court decisions on Washington's power. Published June 15, 2009

N.Y. takes center stage on gay marriage

Those who assumed that New Hampshire would have the last word on approving same-sex marriage this year haven't been paying attention to New York. Published June 5, 2009

N.H. legalizes same-sex marriage

New Hampshire became the sixth state to recognize same-sex marriage Wednesday after the state legislature agreed to include changes protecting religious institutions from being forced to marry gay couples. Published June 4, 2009

Calif. court upholds gay marriage ban

Both sides of the debate over same-sex marriage said Tuesday's California Supreme Court decision upholding Proposition 8, the second defeat in a row for gay-marriage supporters, may have ended the legal battle on the ballot initiative but not the fight over the issue. Published May 27, 2009

Calif. high court upholds ban on gay marriages

The California Supreme Court upheld on Tuesday a ban on gay marriage approved by the state's voters in November, but it allowed same-sex marriages performed before the initiative's passage to stand. Published May 26, 2009

In defeat, Colo. GOP gets set for victory

Back in November, Colorado Republicans took an important first step toward regaining their former status as the state's dominant political party: They lost. Published May 26, 2009

Gay marriage bill hits snag in N.H.

After a yearlong string of victories nationwide, the campaign for gay marriage hit an unexpected snag Wednesday when the New Hampshire House rejected a bill that also included legal protections for religious institutions. Published May 21, 2009

Bush polar bear rule retained

Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced Friday that he will stick with the Bush administration's rule on polar bear protection, dealing a defeat to environmentalists by refusing to use the Endangered Species Act to enact sweeping policies on climate change. Published May 9, 2009