Beshear State Of The Commonwealth

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear delivers the State of the Commonwealth Address to a joint session of the state legislature at the Kentucky State Capitol in Frankfort, Ky., Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020.

(The Center Square) – Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear condemned an alleged plot to kidnap Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, and called domestic groups claiming to be freedom fighters terrorists.

On Thursday, federal authorities announced 13 people were charged in what they called a domestic terrorism plot to kidnap Whitmer, a Democrat. According the federal complaint, the suspects planned to overthrow state governments they believed “are violating the US Constitution.”

Also, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel announced seven people associated with the militia group “Wolverine Watchmen” were charged by the state.

Beshear, also a Democrat, said these types of threats and actions have become more common.

“This is not an isolated incident. Here in Kentucky, I was hung in effigy just yards from where we are standing on your Capitol grounds,” Beshear said. “Another man who made threats against me and Kentucky State Police was arrested at his home, where he was making grenades. These groups are not freedom fighters, they are terrorists.”

He also called on national leaders, as well as Kentuckians, to denounce similar groups.

“They are not security forces, they are threats to our nation. So this nation and every single one of its leaders – including everyone here in Kentucky – must in one voice denounce all of these groups,” Beshear said. “Domestic terrorism is about violence and intimidation, pure and simple. There are no two sides to it. There should be no state leaders or lawmakers pandering to these violent extremists. No posing for photos, no speaking at their rallies, because wrong is wrong.”

According to the Associated Press, armed protesters in May chanted outside the Kentucky governor’s mansion, and Beshear was hanged in effigy from a tree on the Capitol grounds. The AP reported the rally was billed as a defense of constitutional rights but became a protest against his coronavirus restrictions.

“I will say it again: I will not be intimidated. I will not back down, and I will continue to do the right thing,” Beshear said Thursday. “We cannot allow domestic terrorism, which threatens our way of life, to be cast in terms of patriotism or applauded on any level. It is our job as the people that make up this nation to do the right thing and send the right message.”

Regional Editor

An Ohio native, J.D. Davidson is a veteran journalist with more than 30 years of experience in newspapers in Ohio, Georgia, Alabama and Texas. He has served as a reporter, editor, managing editor and publisher.