Hertzberg turns on reformer’s charm in Walnut Creek

For a little while today, we all forgot that Democrat Bob Hertzberg is no longer the Assembly speaker or even an elected official. (Read the full story here.)

Three days after he officially bowed out of a state senate bid against Sen. Fran Pavely, D-Augoura Hills, Hertzberg was in Walnut Creek stumping for his favorite constitutional amendment, the Government Performance and Accountability Act written by reform group California Forward.

Hertzberg was the main event at Contra Costa Supervisor Karen Mitchoff’s luncheon speaker series on Thursday at the Marriott Hotel in Walnut Creek.

He is undeniably entertaining and he made performance-based budgeting sound like something everyone should run out and buy today. He cracked jokes. He was passionate. He didn’t bury us in technical details.

But the best part of his speech was his story about how he met billionaire Nicolas Berggruen, the founder of the state’s other big reform organization, the Think Long Committee for California.

Click here to watch video of Hertzberg’s comments.

But the story has it all. Mysterious call from a stranger. Overnight flight to Panama. A scruffy but brilliant uber-rich guy.  Aboarding a private plane with an unknown destination.

Lisa Vorderbrueggen