The chairman of the Massachusetts Republican Party has formed a 37-member commission to recruit a gubernatorial candidate, even though the party's sole remaining candidate for governor, Gregory S. Hyatt, survived a challenge to his nominating petitions.
State Rep. Andrew S. Natsios, the GOP chairman, reflected party officials' disillusionment with Hyatt's candidacy. "It makes very little difference to us whether he stays in or not," he said. "We're confident that we can find a first-rate candidate because we don't see Gov. Michael S. Dukakis as unbeatable anymore."
Reports that the Democratic governor had been informed several months ago of a sex scandal involving the president of a state college and had done nothing about it have rekindled potential Republican candidates' interest in the race, Natsios contended.
The commission will be chaired by former governor John A. Volpe and will have representatives of "every element of the party," Natsios said. It includes state legislators, the head of the Boston chapter of the NAACP, the president of Nichols College and other party members, he said.
State election officials have ruled that Hyatt's name can appear on the ballot despite charges of some fraudulent signatures, but the candidate indicated he is not sure that he will run.
"Although my name is on the ballot, I will be discussing my political future with my family and supporters over the next few days," Hyatt said. He also expressed his "disgust over the fraudulent signatures that were signed onto my petition" and said he "wholeheartedly condemned those actions."
Hyatt's campaign was already damaged by charges that he was fired as a lobbyist for a labor organization. The only other GOP gubernatorial hopeful, state Rep. Royal Switzler, dropped out about two weeks ago (although his name will still be on the ballot) after admitting that he lied about having been a captain in the Army's Special Forces. Another Wisconsin Straw Poll?
* Wisconsin Democrats, torn between memories of "President Cranston" and possible fund-raising and membership benefits, will decide next month whether to have another presidential straw poll in 1987 similar to the one they held in 1983.
The party's 42-member executive committee will vote July 19 on whether to recommend conducting a straw poll at next year's state convention similar to the one that Sen. Alan Cranston (D-Calif.) won with great effort and expenditure in 1983. Paul G. Kirk Jr., chairman of the Democratic National Committee, will be in the state July 19 for the Young Democrats' national convention -- and to lobby against the straw poll.
Some Wisconsin Democratic leaders favor the poll on grounds that having the presidential candidates working the state is good for fund-raising and party registration. Others, such as state Chairman Suellen Albrecht, oppose it, however.
"I remember 'President Cranston' and I agree with Kirk that it's too early and is a waste of time and money," she said. Author, Author!
* Second novels are often tough, but one intrepid local author already has plunged ahead and finished his, barely a year after the publication of his first. The scribe's name: Sen. Gary Hart (D-Colo.).
Hart's new novel, "The Strategies of Zeus," is now at the publisher. He wrote it, all 66 scenes, on airplanes, on weekends and during his August break last year. It's set in the District of Columbia, Geneva and Moscow in 1988, and its protagonist is a U.S. arms negotiator who falls in love with the female translator in the Russian delegation. The book is "didactic," Hart says, in the sense that it will offer instruction about arms control, something like the way Melville provided instruction about whales.
His first novel, "The Double Man," also a spy thriller, was written with Sen. William S. Cohen (R-Maine) and published last year to mixed reviews and handsome sales. Hart also has written a 5,000-word autobiographical sketch this year, which he is shopping around to magazines. Two-Way Teflon
* President Reagan is a "two-way Teflon man," says Democratic pollster William R. Hamilton, giving one of the most shopworn political metaphors a new twist. "Nothing sticks to him . . . but his issues don't stick, either," he said, noting that up to half of the voters who like Reagan don't support his politics.