POLITICS Jack Kemp's Big Catch
Although his nascent presidential campaign lags in the polls, Republican Congressman Jack Kemp has added a big name to his group of advisers. Ed Rollins, political director of Ronald Reagan's 1984 landslide re-election, will sign on as chairman of Kemp's newly formed "exploratory" campaign committee.
The burly Rollins, 43, who in late 1985 quit his job as director of the White House political liaison, is a highly regarded and much sought political operative with ties to G.O.P. centurions around the country. His decision to line up with Kemp may help dispel skepticism that the former pro quarterback can go the distance to the White House. Kemp, however, was Rollins' second choice. Had Paul Laxalt decided to run, Rollins would have gone with his old friend from Nevada.
CULTS Jonestown Justice
When California Congressman Leo Ryan tried to lead a group of Peoples Temple defectors out of the cult's Jonestown, Guyana, headquarters in 1978, Larry Layton joined him at the last minute. Later, when a truckload of Peoples Temple members ambushed and killed the Congressman and four others at a nearby airstrip, Layton pulled a pistol and wounded two would-be defectors. Within hours, Cult Leader Jim Jones led 912 of his followers in a grisly mass murder--suicide.
Last week a federal jury in San Francisco found Layton guilty of conspiracy and aiding and abetting the murder of Ryan. He could face life imprisonment. Said Fred Lewis, who lost 27 members of his family in Jonestown: "It'll make a lot of people who lost relatives feel better that someone got convicted."
PROTEST Fasting To Death?
The unkempt, gray-bearded man might pass for any other homeless inhabitant of Lafayette Square Park, across from the White House. But the leaflets he passes out say otherwise: CHARLES HYDER, PH.D AND FASTING. Hyder, 56, an astrophysicist and former NASA researcher, says he will starve himself to death to dramatize his call for dismantling all nuclear warheads by the year 2000. Once 310 Ibs., Hyder has lost a third of that weight after more than 70 days on salt and water. If the Government does not meet his demands, he insists, "I'll die. I know what moves the system."
Though the Administration has so far ignored Hyder, 24 physicists, including Nobel Laureate Sheldon Glashow, joined in a one-day sympathy fast with him and signed a letter in support of his goals, though not of his tactics. "I hope he decides not to fast to his death," said Glashow, "Maybe then he can live to see his dreams come true."
WASHINGTON Trivia Trove