Allen West’s Nemesis Honored By Democrats


A gay activist who blocked an appearance by U. S. Rep. Alan West will be honored by the Broward Young Democrats later this month.

Michael Rajner, an activist for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, is getting an award at the group’s fundraising banquet Aug. 28.

The event is being held at Hagan Park Community Center in Wilton Manors.

Hagan is the same venue where West was supposed to speak to the Wilton Manors Business Association.  That engagement was thwarted by protests from Rajner.

Rajner, representing the Florida Gay, Lesbian, Transgender Democratic Caucus, threatened a boycott of Wilton Manors businesses if the association didn’t cancel its invitation to West.

West is a fiery Plantation Republican with Tea Party ties who represents part of Wilton Manors.  He opposes same sex marriage and gays openly serving in the military.

Rajner’s pressuring of the association was widely denounced by the media and West as intolerant.

Still, the business folks buckled.  They withdraw the invitation to the congressman.

Now Rejner is being honored by the YDs.  He is being given the Humanitarian Award.

Rejner works on AIDS/HIV issues. The YD news release concentrates on his opposition to West, however.

Here is a list of others awards scheduled to be handed out by the YDs:


  • President’s Award: Congressman Alcee Hastings.
  • Humanitarian Award: Michael Rajner, Legislative Director of the Florida GLBT Democratic Caucus;
  • Young Democrat of the Year: Shevrin Jones, President and Founder of L.E.A.D.
  • Union of the Year: The Broward County Police Benevolent Association
  • Environmentalist of the Year: Alanna Orlen Mersinger, Zone 2 Commissioner for South Broward Drainage
  • Lifetime Award: Betty DiMaio, Obama for America Organizer;
  • Trailblazer Award: Cynthia Busch, Obama for America Organizer and Democratic Executive Committee Area Leader;

 For information about tickets to the 11:30 a.m. event  on Sunday, Aug. 28, visit

16 Responses to “Allen West’s Nemesis Honored By Democrats”

  1. Stan says:

    A well deserved honor. No one works harder to help those with HIV/AIDS. He can be confrontational at times, but that’s about the only way you get attention these days.

    A good choice, BYD.

  2. Train Wreck says:

    He is a political train wreck for the gay community. A self-engrandizing loose cannon. A frigging moron. He’s single handedly done more to bolster Allen West’s credibility than any other Democrat. I am sure the Young Dems are sick that they chose him. People avoid him now like the plague.

  3. No More Corrupt Politicos says:

    Congrats to Shevrin!!! Well deserved.

  4. Hallandale Beach Blog says:

    Not to be the person who throws the rock at the pretty, shiny Looking Glass window that makes everyone look so handsome and dignified, but from the looks of things, it sounds like the usual suspects who constantly complain about someone or another being marginalized by the larger society in Broward -by real estate developers, land-use attorneys, developer’s lobbyists, ex-pols-turned-lobbyists, et al- and echo platitudes about having a duty to speak up on issues and try thru civility to get an alternative or minority point-of-views heard and understood so that better decisions are made.

    But if the proof is in the pudding, how does that quite square with honoring someone who, thru threats, engaged in a heckler’s veto?
    But then you just have to remember the crowd that is doing the honors -the JV Dem squad that aspires to be the unseen forces behind the power when the Platts & Koslows are no longer actively engaged in battles in front of and behind the dais of various municipalities. (Not that the GOP JV squad is likely much different.)
    This crowd wants nothing more than to be the behind-the-scenes, go-to guy for some pol or affluent client. Or a campaign bundler. Congratulations!

    Also, correct me if I’m wrong, Buddy, but I don’t recall any of these individuals or anyone from their groups, EVER appearing at the most important public hearings that have been held in Broward County the past three years -the Broward Charter Review Commission of 2007-2008, the 2009-2010 County Ethics Advisory Board, or the incredibly-biased and undemocratic Courthouse Taskforce led by Comm. Lieberman that did such a terrible job of being transparent or accountable to the public. (You know, like, curiously, putting accurate agendas and Comm. docs on their county website hours AFTER public meetings are OVER, and not days before they were held? Ask Bertha Henry.)

    I was at many though not all of those meetings the past few years, but received notes and docs on the ones I missed. Often, I was the only Broward citizen present at those morning Ethics meetings, and it was VERY noticeable who not only WASN’T speaking at those meetings, but NOT even bothering to show up to watch: the Usual Suspects.

    As I sipped my too-hot McDonald’s coffee at those often-tedious Ethics meetings and watched the efforts of some Comm. appointees to completely thwart the will of the Broward public, thru half-truths and lies, it sometimes occurred to me that one of the ways you lead is by actually showing up in-person.

    By sharing what you know, trying to persuade people already in power why they’re wrong, and then being prepared to take your lumps once in a while in response.

    But if you are a complete no-show, well, you should hardly be surprised when things turn out the way they so often do here in Broward.

    If you check the attendance records of those hearings, Buddy, I’d be very surprised if you’d find any of these individuals there.

    We all know that one of the reasons the county is the way it is because it has become so easy for these folks to be no-shows when it counts -even elected pols like Jennifer Gottlieb- and that has become par for the course for the folks who think they are destined for great things here, and then continually bitch about things afterwards.
    Just saying…

  5. ExCompassionate Conservative says:

    It would have been far better to have West show up and run his mouth answering one question after another about Gays. I would have brought in some decorated gay veterans as well to ask him about Gays in the military.

    Let your Tea Party opponent talk as much as possible because you can’t cork crazy. Poor West has no clue as to what many Tea Partiers think of Blacks since they will be in best behaviour mode around him. But let the party be all old white guys and see what happens. I know I was shocked when my white skin allowed the opnions to come out from that demographic.

    Dems need to be craftier and not be fooled by inhouse backslapping of importance.

  6. Elroy John says:

    I know I speak for many other active BYD members when I say we are very proud of all of our honorees and that we are looking forward to hosting a great event. Unfortunately, I’m certain we could have honored peace workers in Somolia, dissidents in communist China, or Jesus Christ himself and still found plenty of detractors as evidenced by some of the comments here. I wish I could be a bigger person and ignore veteran members of Broward’s political peanut gallery, but @HallandaleBeachBlog, when was the last time you actually attended a BYD meeting? You make a sweeping accusation that I can attest doesn’t fit with the energy in the club, or that of many of the Young Republicans I know, right now. Our board in particular is passionate about their beliefs and that was on display at the redistricting hearing they spoke at earlier this week. Perhaps you can take a moment to peel yourself away from the notes of meetings you didn’t attend and check out a BYD or BYR meeting and import some actual facts to your comments and/or blog. That is all.

  7. Patti Lynn says:

    The Broward Young Dems have chosen well. Every one of their honorees has stood up, while others remained seated. Every one of them has taken time from their own families to help others, expecting no glory, just dedicated to the cause. I know Michael, and Cynthia, and Betty. What they have done, and continue to do, is praiseworthy. Thank you BYDs for selecting them.

  8. I'm Sorry says:

    With Jen Jen gone, that big flashing name badge of Rajner’s will be gone too. Bye Bye egomaniac

  9. Rick Hoye says:


    Forgive us for not being clearer as to the full context of Michael’s award. Michael is absolutely being honored for his activism as it pertains to HIV/AIDS and LGBT rights. In fact, that is the primary basis for his being recognized later this month. The venue itself is mere coincidence, as we had originally reserved another location. Hagen Park was chosen to better accommodate our needs for the event. Each person on the list of honorees is a tireless worker on behalf of citizens here in Broward County in one manner or another.

    Lastly, in response to “Hallandale Beach Blog’s” comment, The Broward Young Democrats, a.ka., the “JV Dem Squad”, does not “aspire to be the unseen forces behind the power” here in Broward. On the contrary, our motives are straightforward as they pertain to our political engagement, as we wish to be recognized at the forefront of the battleground for fair play, successful policymaking and its subsequent implementation.

    Cultivating the next generation of leadership is a positive thing. As a party and a community, we are supposed to “develop a bench” of new, young activists and leaders. We encourage all Democrats to join us in honoring these activists at our function on August 28th. Have a great day!

    Richard M. Hoye
    Broward Young Democrats

  10. Smart Move says:

    With respect, Rayner’s act was profoundly stupid politics that has given Allen West the high moral ground in the battle about being tolerant. This has damagaged Democrats and particularly to the credibility of the gay community. It further distances Republicans. And the effect on Independents is the greatest damage.

    The only solution is for Democrats to distance themselves from the entire episode. For the party to honor such people pours gasoline on the fire. It is self-destructive arrogance. But for West it is a dream come true. You all might as well join the Tea Party.

  11. Anonomyte says:

    @ Smart Move “given Allen West the high moral ground in the battle about being tolerant”

    Hmm, an oxymoron!

    I’ll give Congressman West the high moral ground about being tolerant when he holds truly open Town Hall Meetings. Non-church venue is necessary.

  12. Just say'in says:

    If Michael had called for a protest of Allen West and not of the City’s businesses, he would be hailed a hero. Michael, is just politically, immature.

  13. Forgive the clueless says:

    I had to laugh when I read the awards list above.
    It really highlights the fundamental difference between Democrats and Republicans.
    The YDs give an award to “Union of the Year”.
    The YRs would give and award to “Business of the Year”.
    The YDs give an ward to “Environmentalist of the Year”.
    The YRs would surely give an award to the “Entrepreneur of the Year”.
    The Dems cater to big unions, environmentalist whack jobs, and wonder why they lost the House, will lose the Senate and the White House.

  14. Smart Move says:

    Rajner is much more than politically immature. He is a fraud. He is no advocate. Self-promotion is his true motivation. Many have tried to teach him. He rewards their every kindness with betrayal. His self-destruction was inevitable and hard earned. Now he’s politically radio active. Nobody wants to be within a mile of him. His 15 minutes are over. The only thing left is the example of what happens when you’re an asshole.

  15. City Activist Robert Walsh says:

    In regards to Mike Rajner I would have done things differently. First of all I would have been w/ open arms to have Congressman West speak at that function. Then at the Q/A Mr. Rajner could have asked West questions/views about the gay community etc. It would have made national news w/ all the attention Mr.West gets. No instead you block him from speaking -bad move. Never let the left hand know what the right hand is doing. The element of surprise would have worked perfect here. Mr.Rajner keep you friends close and your enemies closer stated Don Coreleone(member). Also on Congressman West like I stated before I am cautiously optimistic about him, but you make no brownie points calling people names etc(waserman-shulz)esp. woman. With everything going on I wish they all would concentrate on the issues(economy, etc) instead of all this petty stuff.

  16. Henry Sloane says:

    YRs would give a an award to “Conservationist of the Year”.

    This is clearly a pep rally for the 2012 Presidential run.

    The Democrats can do what they want to do. They are going to have a tough battle because deficit spending although abused by Bush II is going to fall on the present administration which is unfortunate.