Man bites bulldog
When Buzz thinks of victims, our thoughts generally don't go anywhere near Jim Mattox.
But the former attorney general, who wants the job again, is fretting over the possibility of being a victim of negative campaigning. This is the same Jim Mattox who spread rumors during the 1990 Democratic gubernatorial primary that Ann Richards was once seen snorting coke with her drugged-out friends at the Stoneleigh P on Maple Avenue. Mattox ended up losing the primary but winning eternal loathing from Richards' loyalists in the Democratic Party.

Now, Mattox is making a fuss that his Republican opponent for attorney general, former Texas Supreme Court Justice John Cornyn, isn't going to play nice. The Cornyn campaign, responding to a published poll showing Mattox with a 19 percentage point lead, predicts that Mattox's numbers will take a free-fall after Cornyn starts spending money on TV ads that will remind voters of the sleazy friends of Mattox's past. Remember jailed Interstate 30 condominium scammer Danny Faulkner, who had business ties to Mattox? How about former Mattox contributor and convicted felon Clinton Manges? And do you remember Mattox's indictment for bribery? Cornyn will happily fill you in before November 3.

Mattox is trying a preemptive strike by pledging "not to run a single negative ad if Cornyn will do the same. If he refuses, the press ought to hold him accountable as they have me in the past.''

Cornyn will refuse. After all, he's one-for-one so far this year in campaign mudfests, having buried Barry Williamson in last spring's attorney general runoff, which was one of the most negative campaigns-nobody-cared-about in Texas political history. In the primary, Cornyn had pledged to follow the 11th commandment of Ronald Reagan: Thou shalt not speak ill of another Republican. But after entering the runoff in second place, Cornyn decided winning was more important than staying true to the ramblings of some ex-president.

When Cornyn begins his onslaught, then Mattox can begin striking back. Buzz hopes that Mattox, for entertainment's sake, will come up with better dirt than he did during his doomed 1994 Democratic U.S. Senate primary against Highland Park stuffed-shirt Richard Fisher. Mattox accused Fisher of being a disloyal Democrat, which he was for supporting Ross Perot for president in 1992; being a rich white snob, which he was for being a member of an all-white country club; and trying to buy the election, which he did by bankrolling his own campaign to the tune of $2 million. Fisher, meanwhile, ran dirty TV ads about Mattox that mentioned Faulkner and the indictment. Mattox considered himself a victim then, just as he will again.

Buzz prefers to think of this as his comeuppance.

Can we get an amen?
Feeling evangelical? While driving on the road to the mall, did the scales fall from your eyes, filling you with the need to spread The Word? Do you think you'd look hot in a shiny white suit or with tons of electric-blue eye shadow and really big hair?

Well, brothers and sisters, let Buzz tell you that you, too, can fulfill your calling and be a TV star to boot.

The folks at the Trinity Broadcasting Network, the self-described world's largest Christian television network, are offering a seminar Thursday afternoon at the Infomart on how to start your own television ministry.

Mass communication having advanced somewhat since the days of the Sermon on the Mount, the seminar will include information on FCC regulations, IRS rules, cable practices, and distribution deals.

Of course, you'll have to learn other tricks of the trade yourself, such as how to hit suckers up for money without appearing overly smarmy and grasping, and where to get that water-soluble mascara that covers the face in black rivulets when you're moved by a particularly large prayer offering.

No Monicas allowed
The double-entendre police apparently took a day off last week at The Dallas Morning News, letting this ad slip through in Thursday's Today section: "For a blind date that won't suck, call MovieFone."

Not to be a nitpicker, guys, but grammatically that should read who won't suck.

Conspiracy theory
A somewhat reliable correspondent wrote us last week that he saw two DART buses on the road somewhere near Roswell, New Mexico, the purported site of extraterrestrial autopsies and Area 51.

A DART spokesman says they are part of the transit line's new fleet of 488 high-tech buses, powered by a mix of diesel and liquefied natural gas. Yeah, right. And Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone; the year 2000 computer bug won't mean the end of civilization, and couples really can find true romance on the bus, just like DART's new promotional campaign claims.

We're just not buying it.
Roswell, DART buses, romance. There's a conspiracy theory out there somewhere, and if it weren't so damned hot, we'd be out there on Dealey Plaza, peddling it with the rest of the true believers.

--Compiled from staff reports by Patrick Williams

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