“What Happened Here?” with former Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Thomas
Airing every Wednesday at Noon
On Wednesday, January 12, 2022, former Mount Vernon Mayor Rich Thomas launched a new weekly radio show on 1460 WVOX AM Radio called, “What Happened Here?”
The theme is to ask and answer the question about “What happened?” in relation to a local, regional, or national issue.
Former Mayor Thomas unpacks the 4 W’s (who, what, where, and why) during the conversation with feature guests and aim to end on, “Now you know what happened… now what are you going to do about it? We hope you go make changes for good.”
The goal is to get folks thinking and asking questions as they visit popular issues like January 6 – touching both sides of the political spectrum, to COVID’s impact locally and nationally.
What Happened Here Weekly Blog
What Happened Here with Rich Thomas featuring Congressman Eliot Engel | S1 E1
The first guest on “What Happened Here?” was former Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY 16th District). Congressman Engel served in the House of Representatives for 31 years between 1989 and 2021. He rose to Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and led progressive reforms on gun control, healthcare, and energy.
On International Affairs, Congressman Engel is a supporter of Israel and advocate for the causes of Albanian-Americans and ethnic Albanians in Kosovo. As Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, he called for stronger relations between the United States and Latin America and the Caribbean.
Congressman Engel and Mayor Thomas discussed President Biden’s struggles to get a “Blue Collar Agenda” done for America. They noted COVID-19 complexities and how its impact on the supply chain exacerbated frustrations with COVID fatigued Americans. Congressman Engel emphasized that these current dynamics, with the toxic politicization of issues, is driving Democracy deeper into dark corners. The situation with Dr. Fauci confronting Senator Rand Paul is an example of extremes reaching divisive boiling points.
As gridlock grips Capitol Hill, Congressman Engel discussed his relationship with Senators Joe Manchin and Kirsten Sinema. He expressed disappointment with their recent reneging on compromising on issues. He urged Senators Manchin and Sinema to come back to the table and make good on their promise to advance the best interests of the country and help make a better future.
He described his previous work with Congressman Benny Thompson who is leading the House investigation into the violent, deadly protests at the Capitol on January 6, 2021 that disrupted the transition of power from President Donald Trump to President Joe Biden. Congressman Engel said he was proud of the courageous stand by Republican Congresswoman Liz Cheney in her decision to break from political dogma to defend American Democracy.
Congressman Engel extended praise to retiring Assemblywoman Sandra Galef, whom he worked with for many years in government and attended numerous community events with. He thanked her for her dedication and vigorous advocacy on clean energy and the environment, wishing her all the best in the next chapter of her life.
At the end of the show, two callers, Ronnie and Vince, called in. Ronnie raised serious concerns about President Biden, the Constitution, and problems with housing costs and utility bills. Vince sought to ask Congressman Engel about his time in Washington and get his thoughts on election integrity. Mayor Rich Thomas said that New York made a big mistake closing Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant. He pointed out that fossil fuel emissions increased, electric rates increased, and grid reliability is the weakest it has ever been. On Election Integrity, Mayor Thomas indicated that had he NOT experienced “piranha politics” in the past, he would have been dismissive of election fraud claims … however, he noted that he is keeping an open mind about concerns raised on election integrity and will hold a special show to dive into election law matters and the Voting Rights Act in the future.
The next show airs on Wednesday, January 19th at 12:00 PM. The Next guest is former AUSA Charles Knapp who served as a former Manhattan District Attorney under the late, legendary DA Robert Morgenthau and was the Inspector General for the City of Mount Vernon.
Follow Richard Thomas on Social Media. Each show streams live on Social Media, as well as on 1460 WVOX.