At Saturday's opening of the official unofficial Ed Lee campaign headquarters on Mission street and Van Ness, reporters caught up with Rose Pak, the woman San Francisco political writers love to label as the Chinatown powerbroker who could make or break this mayoral election. [Note: also guilty!] Conspiracy theories aside, Rose Pak does have a lot of pull around here, so we kind of need to be paying attention to what she says — even if it doesn't always make sense. So, in the interest of keeping readers politically informed, here are the salient points from Rose Pak's weekend chat with KTVU and Fog City Journal:

On signature gathering to put Ed on the ballot:

FCJ: Do you have an idea of how many signatures you’ve gathered so far?
RP: “We, right now, have about fifteen thousand already.”
FCJ: And what’s your goal?
RP:Fifty thousand, or whatever.

On indications that Mr. Lee will run:

FCJ: Has he given any indication to you privately that he might run?
RP: “No, I never ask. I tease him a lot, but I have never asked him.”

On the current frontrunner, as she sees it:

FCJ: Who do [you] think is the current frontrunner in this race at the moment?
RP: “Without Ed Lee? I think it’s Dennis [Herrera].”
FCJ: You don’t think Leland Yee is the frontrunner?
RP: “No, I don’t think he’s the frontrunner. He’s spent $3 million in the last two years taking money from everybody and couldn’t break through 14, 15, whatever, percentage - that’s pretty pathetic.”

On why she supports Lee:

KTVU: Why are you supporting Ed Lee?
RP: “He is a decent person. He is a hard-working person and he didn’t seek the job.”
KTVU: He’s specifically stated he doesn’t want the job.
RP: “Yes, but he is doing the job very well and so then we should convince him. He has a civic duty to continue what he’s doing for the city.”
KTVU: He has said he doesn’t want to campaign.
RP: “So, let’s campaign for him instead.”

On the progressive legacy in San Francisco politics:

FCJ: What about John Avalos’ campaign? Do you see his campaign as being part of that legacy, or do you see him trying to distance himself from it?
RP: “No, I think John Avalos is a genuine progressive just like I see Ed Lee is a genuine progressive. Your definition of progressiveness, meaning empowering all classes of people, all races of people, and no discrimination about color, religion or background… but you have Chris Daly and run by the Bay Guardian - they’re not talking about people of color and different persuasions is their brand of liberalism and I don’t believe in that.”

KTVU dumbed down their report from Team Lee HQ a little bit, but you can still read all of their questions, along with those from FCJ, over on Fog City Journal's report.

Now let's discuss!