The cover story in the new issue of San Francisco Magazine is all about Rose Pak. Call her whatever you like kingmaker, ballbuster, politico, Mayor but she's getting kind of sick of the term "power broker." As she says, "If I were white, they'd call me a civic leader."
It's a colorful and pretty balanced portrait of Pak by reporter Chris Smith, who tailed Pak to a pre-wedding reception for Supervisor Carmen Chu, to a charity golf tournament at the Olympic Club, and talks to some of her most vocal enemies, like former supervisor Aaron Peskin, whom Pak has publicly compared to the Taliban.
One of the most amusing details, though, comes from Pak's early days when she was a cub reporter for the Chronicle, when she spent time hanging out in the offices of congressmen and power players John and Phil Burton. "They called everybody under the sun ‘motherfucker,'" she says. "I thought it was a term of endearment."
The piece also touches on Pak's role in pushing along the controversial 8 Washington project, currently stalled by Peskin and his Telegraph Hill Dwellers organization, and the accusation by Peskin that she's gotten kickbacks from the developer to lobby secretly on his behalf. And it connects Pak's influence with the fact that now five of the eleven seats on the Board of Supervisors are occupied by Asian Americans, and as Peskin puts it, after years of helping people get elected and land plum jobs, she "has people in the government buried everywhere."