Calling Rep. Robert E. Badham little more than a “seat warmer,” the Orange County chapter of the California Republican League has unanimously endorsed his opponent for the GOP nomination, management consultant Nathan Rosenberg.
Chapter delegates, representing about 75 moderate Republicans in Orange County, heard from Rosenberg, 33, at their statewide endorsing convention in Los Angeles on Saturday. Then, by a 9-0 vote, they endorsed him for the 40th Congressional District seat over the 10-year incumbent from Newport Beach.
“We just felt Rosenberg is an energetic young man whereas the incumbent, Bob Badham, is essentially just a seat warmer who’s lost all interest in anything except mainly just traveling around the world,” Harry Jeffrey, chapter president, said Monday.
The watchdog group Congresswatch recently said Badham is Congress’s second-most “frequent flier,” going on more taxpayer-paid excursions around the world than all but one other congressman.
Jeffrey added that Rosenberg, credited with reviving the Young Republicans chapter in Newport Beach when he was president last year, sounded like he would make an energetic legislator whereas, “on the issue of the Mentone-Prado Dam or offshore oil drilling, Badham is largely invisible.”
The California Republican League consists of about 300 moderate Republicans around the state, 75 from Orange County.
Although the group lacks the clout of the conservative California Republican Assembly, whose 12,000 members have endorsed Badham, its support can only help Rosenberg, Jeffrey said.
“We’re not a huge organization, but we have a bunch of activists who can help in precinct walking and fund raising,” he said.
Although the Orange County chapter endorsed Rosenberg on Saturday, the statewide group did not take a position on the race.
Delegates did make endorsements in most statewide races, however, backing Gov. George Deukmejian for reelection and endorsing Orange County Supervisor Bruce Nestande for secretary of state.
In a close vote on the controller’s race, delegates endorsed Dan Stanford, the former director of the Fair Political Practices Commission, over state Sen. William Campbell (R-Hacienda Heights).
Badham aide Bill Schreiber said Monday that Badham did not mind losing the chapter’s endorsement.
Last weekend, Badham was endorsed by the Young Americans for Freedom and already holds endorsements from the California Republican Assembly and the National Republican Congressional Committee, Schreiber noted.
“Our endorsements are so strong, if one or another goes to another candidate, I guess we don’t show that much concern,” Schreiber said.
He added that Badham, an ardent conservative, was not invited to address the California Republican League delegates.