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The Impeachment Debate Back Home

AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley

While the nation watches a second presidential impeachment unfold in Washington, controversy also swirls around an effort to oust Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear.

As the state House is preparing to hear a petition calling for Beshear's removal in committee, a move lawmakers say is required under Kentucky law, that could be as far the process goes — if members of the committee see no need to proceed.

"Then that will be their choice," House Speaker David Osborne told reporters. "If they present findings that they believe need to be discussed, then we will hear those at the time."

For the time being, the matter remains fully in the committee's hands, Osborne said.

But the debate is playing out at a higher level too, as Gov. Andy Beshear took some signers of the petition to task during his public briefing Tuesday. One name the Democrat singled out was Tony Wheatley with a group called Constitutional Kentucky.

"He is the one that put together the rally where the Three Percenters hung me in effigy," Beshear said. "He's the one that put together the rally where they stormed past all the barricades in front of the governor's mansion."

In an interview with WLEX-TV, Wheatley distanced his group from that particular event.

"Constitutional Kentucky has never had a rally that we sponsored that has had anything happen like the effigy. That wasn't our rally," he said.

Yet Wheatley had previously told the station his group did co-sponsor an event attended by armed protesters outside the Kentucky Capitol on Saturday.

For now, it's a live question how lawmakers will respond to the impeachment petition during the short 30-day session, or if the events in Washington, D.C. will temper the debate in Frankfort.

Josh James fell in love with college radio at Western Kentucky University's student station, New Rock 92 (now Revolution 91.7). After working as a DJ and program director, he knew he wanted to come home to Lexington and try his hand in public radio.