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1997 – I’m amazed that an individual would even try to pass off such wickedly hateful views as humor

The Province
May 5, 1997
B3
Whole lotta shaking out: Clubs react to live music vs. electronic battle
Mike Roberts

Vancouver’s club scene is in a major state of flux.

Venues are closing, opening and reformatting at a dizzying rate as proprietors struggle to cash in on the latest trends.

The Town Pump’s going dance, the Commodore Ballroom’s going country, “lounges” are popping up on every corner, and DJs are ruling rooms that not long ago housed local bands.

At the core of this transition is the battle between live and electronic music. One side calls electronica — the buzz phrase for modern, DJ-produced music — a passing fad; the other side claims live music is toast.

They’re both wrong.

First off, there are more bands in this city than there are traffic lights. They might not be playing the Town Pump week after next when it closes its doors on live music, but they’re finding stages elsewhere — at the Niagara, The Gate, the Railway Club or the Columbia Hotel.

“To say that the guitar/bass/drum setup is dead is a bit extravagant,” says Keith Buckingham, talent buyer for the Starfish Room, one of Vancouver’s premier live venues.

“The DJs are definitely on the upswing. It’s the more popular form of music right now. But, for my money, there’ll always be a place for live music. I refuse to believe it’s dead.”

105 BANDS BOOKED

The Gate’s talent buyer and promoter agrees. He’s got 105 bands booked at his mid-sized concert venue this month alone.

“I’ve never seen so many groups in Vancouver,” says Patrick Harrington. “It’s a bit of a log-jam, there are so many bands.”

So many, in fact, they’re having a hard time getting gigs.

“There are more bands than fans on the live music side,” concedes Brian Salmi, promotions director at the Mighty Niagara.

“It’s confusing, it’s a mess. Live music is hurtin’, you know, with the Pump and the Commodore going down.”

On the other hand, there’s a growing community of top-notch DJs in Vancouver who are pulling in major crowds, crowds that know exactly what they’re getting when they pay their five bucks at the Chameleon or Mars.

“Live music is done, it’s over. The new music is electronic music,” insists John Teti, who runs both Richard’s on Richards and the Chameleon Urban Lounge. “DJs are the rock stars of this generation.”

To that end, Teti is turning the Town Pump — Vancouver’s live- act landmark — into a DJ-formatted club when it reopens at the end of June (it closes May 11, after the Music West festival).

“Everybody’s got a live music project going. It’s at the point of saturation,” says Teti. “There’s a healthy business for touring acts, but every bar in Vancouver is doing a live music act. And some of it isn’t very good.”

Back at the Starfish Room, Keith Buckingham sees the DJ craze as a swing in the market place that happens with the passage of time.

“Times change, tastes change. But it isn’t anything that’s driving a stake through the heart of live music.”

Still, Buckingham has booked DJs to work his room Tuesdays and Fridays.

Vance Campbell, VP of operations for the Granville Enter- tainment Group, which owns, among others, BaBalu, the Roxy and Fred’s Uptown Tavern, says it’s not only live venues that are struggling to carve their niche out of the night life market.

“Dance bars seem to be having problems staying alive, too,” says Campbell. “I know Mars is looking (to get) out and Celebrities is coming on the scene as a straight dance bar as opposed to a gay bar.”

But Campbell isn’t complaining about the success of BaBalu, the lounge on Nelson Street with the perma-line of fun-seekers at the door.

“Lounge is the thing we’re happiest about right now,” he says. “It’s appealing to people of all ages. It’s new to the younger generation and for the baby boomers, it’s memories.”

As things shake down in club town, the scene will shuffle and resettle. Until the next craze comes calling.

Vancouver Sun
May 13, 1997
Page A.4
BLOCKING THE `BLOC’
The prank never ends for Vancouver alternative newspaper Terminal City
Brad Evenson

Now, their editorially favored candidate, Ryan “Bloc Quebecois” Bigge, is planning to have an injunction filed to stop the federal election in Vancouver East because Elections Canada won’t allow him to use the nickname “Bloc Quebecois” on the ballot.

“They have arbitrarily decided that our candidate is not known by that name although we are willing and able to provide any number of people to sign affidavits swearing that they have known him as Ryan “Grand Bloc Quebecois” Bigge for years,” said Terminal City columnist Brian Salmi.

Salmi and Bigge point out that the Elections Act states that the chief electoral officer is required to ask for that evidence in determining what name to put on the ballot.

In the meantime, there has been absolutely no word from Bloc Quebecois leader Gilles Duceppe about whether he is willing to accept Bigge as a candidate for the party, as Bigge requested last week.

Chilliwack Times (BC)
May 13, 1997
Page unknown
Editorial
Joke candidate belittles race

Another three hopefuls have decided to toss their hats into the political ring in the riding of Fraser Valley. Of the three, two represent parties with little or no track record in this political riding, while the third appears to be hellbent on making a mockery of our political system.

Carol Battaglio will represent the Green Party. While she will certainly do better than the uninterested, uninformed and uninspired federal and provincial performances of former Green candidate Steve Kisby, Battaglio must recognize that she is a fringe candidate and act accordingly. The same holds true for Patrick Boylen, the Natural Law candidate who will endeavor to convince Fraser Valley voters that transcendental meditation and yogic flying can cure all of Canada’s ills.

And then there is Sa Tan…yes, sound it out now, Sa Tan. Canadian politics has stooped to ridiculous levels when an independent candidate named for the devil himself can be added to the ballot as a means of insulting our intelligence and annoying those men and women who are endeavoring to best represent a point of view and the citizens of Canada.

It is our sincere hope that Sa Tan – or whoever this individual is – isn’t allowed to turn the Fraser Valley race into some sort of hellish sideshow. While we can all appreciate a joke now and again, there is nothing rib-tickling about a self-indulgent individual who has chosen to insult Canadians from coast to coast by belittling a process men and women have laid their lives on the line to defend.

Abbotsford News
May 15, 1997
Page 1
Devilish deeds on Valley campaign trail
Christopher Foulds

Could it be the Devi! himself running in the Bible Belt, intent on raising some hell?

Well, not really, though the only independent candidate in the Fraser Valley riding is sure to upset the values and beliefs of many voters.

A last minute entry, Sa Tan (pronounced Satan) is a confirmed challenger to Reform MP Chuck Strahl’s seat.

Though Sa Tan is believed to be Brian Salmi, manager of Vancouver’s Niagara Pub, return­ing officer Jorgen Munk said only a Vancouver phone number was provided.

And when that number was called yesterday, a short message was played: “You have reached the offices of the committee to elect Satan! Leave a message and we’ll call you right baaaaack!!!”

Strangely enough, another call to the number one hour later produced a different message, concerning the Vancouver Cinema Society.

BC. Tel supervisor Maureen Dahl said the number connects to B.C. Tel’s call message service centre and labelled “strange” the abrupt change in messages.

Munk confirmed that Sa Tan paid the $1,000 candidacy fee and is a legitimate candidate.

Salmi, a one-time member of the Rhino Party, is well-known for running as a gag candidate in elections of all levels.

In 1993, he ran under the monicker Godzilla, campaigning in a monster costume and roller blades.

In last year’s Vancouver civic election, he ran as Ronald F. McDonald.

Sa Tan’s platform might convince some con­servative voters the June 2 election is indeed the coming of the Apocalypse.

If elected, Sa Tan has vowed to rename Abbotsford – to Abort-sford.

He was also seen passing out pamphlets to Vancouver club-goers last weekend, inviting one and all to an “orgy” at a farmhouse somewhere in the Fraser Valley, the location of which to be disclosed later.

Sa Tan has asked those attending to provide doctor’s certificates proving they are free of any sexually-transmitted diseases.

The Chamber of Commerce said Sa Tan would be invited to the all-candidates debate on May 28 – though it is not known if Beelzebub will dare set cloven hoof on Christian Valley soil.

Vancouver Sun
May 16, 1997
A4
301: Election Countdown: 17 Days: Inside Campaign ’97
Brad Evenson
Christians taunted

Having failed to get a response from the Bloc Quebecois, Vancouver’s Gnu Democratic Rhino Reform Party has now set its sights on enraging Fraser Valley Christians.

The group, whose geographic locus appears to be the offices of alternative newspaper Terminal City, are running a candidate named “Satan” in the Fraser Valley riding and planned to introduce him to the public at Central Heights Church in Abbotsford Thursday night.

“There’s a world evangelical fellowship that is having its closing ceremonies tonight. They’ll be introduced to Satan and his 14-year-old virgin bride as they leave,” said Brian Salmi, a Terminal City columnist.

Or, to quote the group’s inimitable press release: “The time has come, the battle is on, the lost tribes of Israel have gathered in the parking lot of a 7-Eleven in Clearbrook and the Beast is loose … Satan and his 14-year-old virgin bride will kick off the campaign this evening with a Bible burning that will cleanse the putrid earth in the Christian-infested area and make it safe for him to campaign.”

There is a “Satan” legally registered as a candidate in the riding.

The party is also running a candidate in Vancouver East who attempted to get an endorsement from the Bloc Quebecois, with a resounding lack of success.

Abbotsford News (BC)
May 17, 1997
Page unknown
Satanic sizzle ends in fizzle
Kevin Mills

My hopes were high on Thursday night as I prepared to meet the Prince of Darkness.

Hell Raiser-tumed-politician “Sa Tan” was about to make an appearance in Abbotsford and a crowd of – well, a group of – well, actually about eight members of the media gathered in front of Central Heights Mennonite Brethren Church for his demonic arrival.

Most of us were hopeful that Sa Tan (The Devil, Lucifer, Lord of the Damned) would bring a little satirical life into what has so far been a dull election campaign.

You see, Satan, or Sa Tan as he is officially listed, is run­ning for office here in Abbots­ford as an independent, and his political party, the Gnu Demo­cratic Rhino Reform Party, is hoping to steal away some votes from the more “normal” candidates.

Any dreams of fun were quickly dashed when this two- bit actor arrived on the scene.

Sa Tan, decked out in a Twi­light Zone style devil’s cos­tume, including red face, cloth­ing and obligatory horns, ar­rived with his meagre entou­rage.

Leading the way was a man I assumed to be Sa Tan’s cam­paign manager. Dressed as Ronald McDonald, except with a marijuana logo on his cloth­ing and a pentagram painted on his forehead, Ronald proceeded to pull out a dime store barbe­cue.

While Sa Tan’s “14-year- old virgin bride” (who didn’t look a day over 40) sat at her master’s feet, dressed in her slinky nightgown, two black clothed worshipers bowed as Ronald began tearing up Bibles and tossing them in the barbe­cue.

A little lighter fluid and a match later and, quicker than you can say fire and brimstone, one bad publicity stunt was ba­sically over.

Sa Tan himself didn’t say a word, apparently the Prince of Darkness doesn’t talk to mor­tals, at least that’s what Ronald yelled at me when I asked.

While there were one or two church members who came out to comment on the spectacle, and debate the merits of these actions, for the most part, this little event went unnoticed. And that was the best part.

In the past, I have enjoyed taking a few shots at religion in general, I enjoy parody and the odd sarcastic remark. Howev­er, I also like to give credit where credit is due. j

The people attending the

closing of the World Evangeli­cal Fellowship General Assem­bly could have reacted in a number of ways when they exited the church and found Sa Tan burning Bibles in front of the building.

They could have yelled, preached, laughed or argued with the group but they chose a different path.

They took the high road – they ignored them.

Almost nobody bothered to acknowledge the event, thereby taking away any chance of credibility. ,

In this ongoing battle be­tween good and evil, the score is now Religion 1; and The Devil 0.

Satan may want to get used to that number. He’ll see it again when the – votes are counted.

Abbotsford News (BC)
May 17, 1997
A4
Terrric week for ‘defining’ Christianity
James Kwantes

With 1.700 others. I watched African performers singihg and dancing on stage at a World Evangelical Fellowship event last Saturday night.

While less-restrained audience members got to their feet and danced, swinging their hips in rhythm with the beat, most in attendance remained seated and clapped their hands.

It was a glimpse into another culture and an alternative way of praising God – and a reminder that Christianity is far from a “Western” phenomenon. Indeed. African and Asian countries are now at the forefront of evangelical Christianity.

The general assembly wrapped up on Thursday night and more than 700 delegates from 93 nations are now returning to their homelands.

For local Christians who had the chance to attend, the assembly was a window into Christianity in countries across the world. Through this global perspective, Christians hope to “focus the strength of local churches:” One of the themes of this general assembly.

While worship styles and theological emphases may differ from Abbotsford to the Phillipines to Zambia, one enduring truth united all who attended: The belief that Jesus Christ died for humanity’s sins and now lives to give salvation to all who seek Him.

Many people have turned their back on Christianity after negative experiences with Christians or after seeing church leaders falter. Christians often fall short of the standards set for them. Christians do not always act in Christian ways.

I wish all who have experienced vengefulness at the hands of Christians could have been there Saturday night, as Vietnam War survivor Kim Phuc talked of how she forgave the American who ordered the napalm attack on her village.

I wish those who perceive Christians as selfish could have been there Sunday, as Brother Andrew was honored for 42 years of risking his life smuggling Bibles into countries that have outlawed Christianity. Two previous recipients of the Religious Liberty Award were murdered by opponents.

Those who think Christianity is “anti-woman” would have been surprised to hear the powerful presentation of Judy Mbugua. The founder of the Pan-Africa Christian Women’s Alliance operates several ministries in Africa – and told the audience of several women-run ministries that are making a difference there: Including a Uganda refuge for HIV-positive women and a ministry to prostitutes in Madagascar.

And I wish those who think Christians are intolerant could have been at Central Heights church Thursday night, where Christians tolerated a group of Vancouver residents who gathered to bum Bibles and make a mockery of Christian beliefs and values.

The group is running Sa Tan as a mock candidate in the Fraser Valley riding.

The humor of burning Bibles outside a church – while many who have experienced real persecution in their home countries worshipped inside – was lost on me.

But it didn’t really matter to the 1,700 people inside Central Heights church for the closing ceremonies, who were too focused on worshipping God to even realize Sa Tan was outside.

Abbotsford News (BC)
May 17, 1997
Page unknown
Cheers/Jeers of the week
THUMBS DOWN to Sa Tan: the Fraser Valley riding’:;

independent “devil” candidate if he plans on getting too  serious with his federal campaign by energetically rattling the  cages of local Christians. A lark is amusing, but toying with  the real emotions of those who believe in Christ to attract attention is not what we would call funny.

Abbotsford News
May 17, 1997
Page unknown
Letter to editor
Sa Tan has always been here

For some reason, independent federal candidate Sa Tan has decided he  would announce he -has arrived in the Fraser Valley.  Bible belters are supposed to be shocked and horrified. “Oh, no not him. Not here! (A few yawns.)

Wonder what he’s up to now?” Reason is he’s been here unannounced for some time, uh, since Adam and Eve and he’s already left his mark on our community.

Murder, rape, abortion, and gambling, are just a few of his pet evils. Mostly, he really likes to see families and churches divided.

The recent World Evangelical Fellowship conference have ticked him off so many people in unity and so much prayer focused against the forces of oppression in the world. Just enough to make him run for election as a public figure drawing away votes from people who might make a  difference.

So, when you place’ your mark on your ballot’ this election, make sure it is for, someone who
represents the kinds of values you want to live with .. , maybe for eternity:

Lorna Tatomir
Abbotsford

Abbotsford News (BC)
May 20, 1997
Page A 25
One helluva sick stunt
Paul Bryson-Bucci

The FraserValley’s latest gag candidate has a shtick that makes me want to gag.

Brian Salmi is thought to be the brains behind Sa Tan, a joke candidate running in the FraserValley riding who participated in a Bible burning Thursday night. That’s disgusting.

But what makes it worse is that Salmi burned Bibles outside outside of the World Evangelical Fellowship conference in Abbotsford.

That’s insensitive, offensive and just plain stupid. Imagine, for instance, if salmi burned a Torah outside of a synagogue, or if he torched a turban outside a SikhTemple.

That would be considered an outrage and a violent confrontation would likely result.

The fact that a candidate can impersonate Satan, and then have “campaign workers” burn a sacred object without being assaulted is a testament to the Christian notions of forgiveness and of turning the other cheek.

Of course, writing in disgust is exactly what Salmi wants.

He attended the event dressed in a Ronald McDonald suit with a pentagram painted on his forehead.

He and his minions set up a barbeque to burn Bibles and roast marchmellows on a pitchfork.

If that’s not offensive enough, his campaign literature features a blindfolded woman – purported to be a virgin bride – whose arms are tied with a rope.

He mocks abortion, promising to make Abbotsford an “Abort-sford” where abortion clinics would be on every street corner.

The sad thing about this is it’s just another example of how western society has sunk into decay.

What was considered unthinkable satire even 30 years ago , is now nothing more than an election stunt.

Salmi is no stranger to making fun of the electoral process. His Gnu political party is a splinter group of the Rhino Party. The breakaway group formed after the, “old farts lost their sense of humour,” said Salmi, who dressed himself up as Godzilla on roller skates in the 1993 federal election.

The problem is this jokes goes to far.

And Salmi doesn’t seem to get it.

Abbotsford |News
May 20, 1997
Page unkown (editorial)
Little devil ain’t funny

The campaign leading up to the June 2 federal I election has hit a “fork” in the road with the appearance of Sa Tan.

Last-minute entry Sa Tan (pronounced Satan) is a con­tinued challenger to Reform MP Chuck Strahl in the Fraser Valley nding.

Sa Tan is managed by Brian Salmi, manager of Vancouver’s Niagara Pub.

Salmi, a one-time member of the Rhino Party, is well-known for running as a gag candidate in elections of all levels.

But that’s where this latest joke ends.

There’s a fine tine between good humor and bad taste, and Satan proved last Thursday he’s gone from “yuk yuk” to “yuck vuck.” And we can take a joke!

Even in jest, running here requires some respect for the con­stituents. If Sa Tan were to take an anti-ethnic slant in an urban Vancouver riding, he’d be prosecuted under our new hate laws. Bible burning and obscenities seem to be the only gags in his bag.

Rhino people in the past have been a hoot. Sa Tan’s a Vancouver guy making mock of us, which makes the unfunny even less funny.

While some federal hopefuls are campaigning on “jobs, jobs, jobs,” we say Sa Tan likely needs a new one, because he sure ain’t doing well as a comedian.

Chilliwack Progress (BC)
May 20, 1997
Page unknown
Candidates play devil’s advocate
Doug Yovanovich

The beast is loose in the bible belt, and the other candidates are not amused.

“Myself and John Les first heard about it on Let’s Talk and we thought he (host Bill Coombes) was just joking,” said ProgressiveConservative candidate Harry Wiens.

A fully-registered and valid federal candidate, ‘Sa Tan’ is represented by Brian Salmi, a hotel manager from Vancouver.

NDP candidate Dr. Rob Lees acknowledges “it’s sometimes good to laugh at ‘the system’, but it’s a seri­ous process and this is just a nuisance.”

Sa Tan said in a statement he chose the Fraser Valley riding because it is “the most repressive electoral district in all of Canada.” Salmi said they are taking a stand against the “morally repug­nant” views prevalent in the area.

Lees said the underlying issue has greater importance.

“It reflects a disenchant­ment with the whole politi­cal process, and it’s unfortu­nate because … the govern­ment itself is supposed to be a tool for change,” he said.

All candidates agreed that Salmi’s campaign does not reflect legitimate opposing views of even a small per­centage of the populace.

“Only the most twisted minds would throw their vote away in that direction,” John Les said. “There are a couple of other candidates that would serve perfectly well as throw-away votes.”

Chilliwack Times (BC)
May 20, 1997
Page unknown
Silence Satan with one quick phone call
Scott Harrison

I’m all for a good joke but there is nothing funny about Sa Tan.

The Vancouver castoff’s sole reason for running in the Fraser Valley appears to be his selfish pursuit to offend as many people as possible.

It’s odd that at the same time as hack columnist Doug Collins is facing a tribunal for his nasty diatribes, Elections Canada would OK the paperwork for a man pledging to put an abortion clinic on every corner.

While I’ m certain Elections Canada gave this man the benefit of the doubt when he appeared before them and said ‘No, really it’s spelled S-A, new word T-A-N,’ I’m not as forgiving. It took me about two seconds to figure out that this twisted fellow was bad news.

As a journalist, I have plenty of experience with wing-nuts, wackos and other would-be politicians who try to use elections to forward their own platforms. But Sa Tan – known from this day forward as Satan – is a new one on me.

I am outraged that this individual would purposely pick the Fraser Valley to generate his hateful views attacking traditional Christian values.

In my only telephone conversation with the man claiming to be Satan ‘s campaign manager, I was told the Devil himself was unable to speak to me. In fact, I was told that he would not speak to mere mortals.

The man then went on to say that ‘the Beast was being set loose in the Bible Belt.’ The apparent reasons why were listed in a news release faxed to our office minutes after the telephone call concluded.

Here’s a samples of what kind of individual we’re dealing with : “My people in the Fraser Valley have been repressed by the right wing Jesus nuts for far too long. They have endured tyranny of th e half-witted Bible thumpers without complaint, waiting for the day when [ come … “

If this is supposed to be funny, I am not laughing. In fact, I’m amazed that an individual would even try to pass off such wickedly hateful views as humor. .. if, indeed, this is what he’s attempting to do.

As an editor, I plan on ignoring thi s person’s poisonous propaganda. As Times’ readers, though, if you are angered by such nonsense you can inundate the GNU Democratic Rhino Reform Party with calls to its Vancouver hotline at 604-878-7920.

If you are outraged by this shameless assault on Christian values but don’t want to waste your money on a bunch of self-professed heathens, you can always contact EIections Canada at 858-6682 or file a complaint with the B.C. Human Rights Commission at 1-800-663-0876.

Who ‘s laughing now, eh?

Abbotsford News
May 22, 1997
Page unknown
Letter to the editor
Sa Tan not so smart

The entry of some buffoon calling himself “Sa Tan” into the federal election campaign here in Abbotsford disgusts me.

How dare someone show so much contempt for the qeople of our city, for the religion which many of the people here hold so strongly. and for the electoral process and democracy in general?

This fool no doubt believes that he is being witty and satirical, as he plays to the jaded sensibilities of the pseudo-sophisticates in his downtown Vancouver crowd.

But what he is in fact doing is n!-fleeting his own lack of centre and of values – true satire comes from a deep morality and a deep respect for the dignity of people, not from simple-minded boredom.

There is nothing original in book-burning and the Bibles he burned were just books.

There is nothing original in urban pseudo-sophisticates expressing unthinking prejudice against people who have a real system of values and a grounded belief in the higher power – envy of people whose lives are meaningful is endemic in “Sa Tan’s” circle of drifting sad wannabees.

There is, ultimately, nothing – interesting or important in what this foolish fellow is doing because he simply does not understand anything.

On the other hand, as spring burgeons along and the election campaign draws toward a conclusion, I I want to ‘encourage people to vote in tune with the season – to vote for hope, for meaning and for real values, for the future and for kindness.

I’ll be voting Green but I don’t think that those values are only embodied in our candidates.

Samuel Wagar
Abbotsford

Chilliwack Times
May 23, 1997
Page unknown
Sa Tan gets reviewed

The activities of joke candidate Sa Tan are being scrutinized by the B.C. Human Rights Commission.

Commission investigator Laurie Paylor confirmed Wednesday that “over a dozen” Chilliwack residents have contacted her to protest the anti-Christian actions of Sa Tan and his GNU Demo­cratic Rhino Reform Party of Canada. The calls come in the wake of a Chilliwack Times column published Tuesday which urged citi­zens outraged by Sa Tan’s ; action to file a complaint with the commission.

Abbotsford News
May 24, 1997
Page unknown
Cheers/jeers of the week

THUMBS UP to fringe parties such as Green, Natural  Law and, yes, Satan, for injecting some much-needed levity  into the dull, dull, dull 97′ election campaign. Levitating to  bling down the debt? Burning bibles to cleanse Valley soil?  Hey, it’s a joke! And a welcome guffaw, at .that.

Chilliwack Times
May 27, 1997
Page unknown
Strahl questions Sa Tan’s papers

An examination of Sa Tan’s nomination papers proves he’s not qualified to run, says Chuck Strahl.

The Reform candidate said Friday the Elections Act has been violated by the candidate calling himself Sa Tan. Strahl has examined the nomination papers filed by the candidate using the name Sa Tan and claims they are out of order.

“The names are made up, the address­es are bogus – it becomes a limit to what you can accept,” he said.

Under the Elections Act, each candi­date needs 100 signatures from people over 19 who live in the riding.

Strahl’s staff have examined Sa Tan’s papers and he said they revea’ed that of the 131 nominating signatures, 15 ad­dresses are outside the riding – one in New Zealand -105 addresses are incom­plete, 18 names are illegible, some names are repeated and at least one is made up.

“His nomination papers are a com­plete mess and should never have been accepted in the first place,” added Strahl.

But he has not laid blame on Chilli­wack’s returning officer Jorgen Munck. Strahl said it’s the act that needs that needs to be tightened up so elections of­ficers can scrutinize nomination papers in detail and question candidates when they file.

“I don’t think that’s too much to ask,” he added.

Strahl said the act should be changed so a returning officer will have to show “due diligence” to ensure the names on the nomination form are eligible elec­tors.

Munck, angered by the press release issued by Strahl, did not want to com­ment on Sa Tan’s papers.

“I’m not in a position to respond and resent the fact that this has become a sto ry,” said Munck.

As the elections officer, Munck said he has to remain impartial and is not al­lowed to question the candidates.

“I followed the act,” he added. “I can assure you that no mistake was made.”

Chilliwack Times (BC)
May 27, 1997
Page unknown – editorial
Elections Canada was hoodwinked

The Times wrote a column last week which urged readers to contact Elections Canada to complain about joke candidate Sa Tarr.

Times readers responded in impressive numbers, so much so that one Elections Canada official has now threatened this newspaper with post-election sanc­tions. How sad.

As Chuck Strahl demonstrated with thorough re­search, Elections Canada screwed up by accepting the candidate papers and $1,000 fee from this man Chief Electoral officer Jorgen Munck ever-so-politely refers to as Mr. Tan. We wish Mr. Tan – Satan to those whose reputation is not at stake – was half as polite to Jorgen Munck.

Understandably, Jorgen Munck is upset that Satan – Mr. Tan, if we must – is running in his riding. As Chilli­wack’s top Elections Canada’s official he bears the re­sponsibility for this single transgression.

We will not blame Jorgen Munck or other Elections Canada officials, however. Instead, as hard-working, honest and unsuspecting cogs in this election ma­chine, Jorgen Munck and others have been deliberate­ly misled by Satan and his GNU Democratic Rhino Re­form Party. How frustrating it must be

Elections Canada has been shamelessly hood­winked by a savvy strategist who used the final sec­onds of the candidate filing period to present his pa­pers. And because our electoral process is built upon the theory that anyone can run, these papers were ac­cepted without judgement. On June 2, do Elections Canada a favor and don’t cast a single ballot for Satan.

Chilliwack Times (BC)
May 27, 1997
Page unknown – letter to the editor
Joke candidate has you hook, line and sinker

Having read your May 20 column Silence Satan with a qllick call , I could not help but laugh at your tirade against the political candidate Sa Tan.

Sa Tan threw out the line and you swallowed it, hook,line and sinker. Don’t you realize that the purpose of the Rhino party is to make fun of the electoral process?

Your tirade gave them more ink than they could buy.

Now that he has you hooked, he can just go on jerking your chain whenever he pleases. Think about it.

Bruce Davis
Chilliwack

Chilliwack Progess
May 27, 1997
A1
‘Satan’ no joke to Christian voters
Doung Ypvanovich

The wrath of the Fraser Valley electorate is striking back against Sa Tan.

The devil and his cavalcade were in Chilliwack over the weekend posting campaign posters advertising.Jhs elec­tion night orgy.

Several livid people have torn down the posters and filed complaints with the Chilliwack RCMP, Elections Canada, and the B.C. Human Rights Commission.

The posters feature the slo­gan, “Because I know you’d rather (deleted) than vote.”

District maintenance work­ers have been taking down all the posters from utility poles.

“The poles aren’t there to put posters on, or campaign literature for that matter,” confirms Sgt. Ken Morris.

Chilliwack RCMP opened a Satan file Friday.

Incumbent MP Chuck Strahl confirms the devil’s nomination papers were in­valid, but it is too late to turn back.

“The government has once against sided with those who abuse the system – Mr. Tan will be on the ballot June 2,” he said.

Of 131 signatures on Sa Tan’s nomination forms, 105 addresses are incomplete and illegible, and 15 are from areas outside the riding.

Area election officer Jorgen Munck said anyone who meets the criteria – a $1000 deposit and 100 sup­porters – can run in an elec­tion

“We check each out as best we can, but we don’t authen­ticate or audit the (nomination signatures) in the true sense of the word,” he said.

He confirms Elections Canada has had some “very incensed” complaints about allowing Sa Tan to run as a candidate in the Fraser Valley.

But the callers are referred to the human rights commis­sion, he said^ “We are an im­partial body and swear oaths to that effect.”

And Satan is welcome at the all-candidates meetings by law, he said.

All candidates don’t have be invited To selection meet­ings unless it is advertised as an all-candidates meeting.

As for the election signs, Lucifer’s campaign manager

Brian Salmi says they will go right back up.

Section 262 of the Elections Act makes it illegal to tear down an election sign.

“We feel we have very strong legal grounds to go to court with anybody on this one, including the District of Chilliwack,” he said.

Salmi acknowledges the campaign signs may be offen­sive to some, but they are legal.

“I’m offended bv a lot of (the Christians’) stuff, but I don’t go around tearing,down steeples … They have to re­member that this is all coming under the letter of the law.”

“Let them go into the li­braries and burn books – there’s lots of things there to offend all types of people.”

He said they have received multiple death threats from “radical Christians” and will confer with police and a lawyer as their campaign con­tinues.

Salmi scoffed at the other candidates’ “hypocritical” statements that his campaign was a giant joke contrived to offend the masses. He said he is merely exercising his de­mocratic and constitutional rights to present a minority 1 view.

“This is indicative of the way those people think: Democratic process is all well and good until somebody ac­tually wants to assert their rights…then it’s time to crush them again.”

Abbotsford Times (BC)
May 27, 1997
Page unknown
Sa Tan feels heat
Tams Giliis

Sa Tan is on the hot seat.

The independent candidate for the Fraser Valley riding has violated the Elec­tions Act, Reform candidate Chuck Strahl said.

Strahl said the 131 signa­tures on Sa Tan’s nomina­tion sheets are from as far away as New Zealand.

He said 105 addresses are incomplete and others are impossible to read or verify.

And Strahl said only 47 of the names on the papers could be found on the vot­ers list.

“So what,” Brian Godzil­la Salmi, Sa Tan’s campaign manager, said.

“Let him say whatever he wants. That’s not his business, that’s Elections Canada’s business and they were happy to accept our papers.”

Sa Tan, whose first pub­licity stunt was to burn a Bible in Abbolsford, has stirred the ire of many resi­dents.

The Elections Act re­quires at least 100 people who are over 18, eligible to vote and who live in the constituency to sign nomi­nation papers before a can­didate can run.

The candidates’ support­ers must also list names, ad­dresses and jobs on the form.

Salmi said it wasn’t his responsibility to verify the names and addresses of all the people who nominated Sa Tan.

He called the Reform party intolerant.

“We’ll deal with them shortly,” he said. “It’ll be completely legal.”

Meanwhile, Salmi said there’s lots of communists running around in Chilli­wack and Abbotsford tear­ing down his election posters.

He said police have re­fused to intervene.

Fraser Valley riding re­turning officer Jorgen Munck accepted Sa Tan’s nomination form.

He said he wouldn’t comment on Strahl’s accu­sations because he has to re­main impartial.

Munck said the person who files nomination papers must exercise due diligence to confirm the signatures are valid.

He said that is explained in the booklet handed to candidates.

Strahl said he wants to see changes to the Elections Act. He said returning offi­cers should show due dili­gence to make sure the names on the forms are eli­gible.

Strahl said a paragraph should be included in the Elections Act to outline the penalties for papers that are out of order.

Abbotsford News (BC)
May 27, 1997
Page unknown
letter to the editor
No humor in Sa Tan but a deadly serious mission by the Beelzebub

I feel must reply to ‘cheers, jeers of the week” column in last Saturday ‘s issue regarding Satan.

This is no lark. It is not funny and “the humor of brning Bibles” is not humor at all.

This is a deadly serious mission that not only Sa Tan is on. but Satan also.

Wherever there are Christians, there is Satan – scared stiff and out to avenge. Is he really concerned with non-Christians? Of course not. They are his already. Abbotsford Christians should be aware; armed with the Bible and the armor ‘of God.

It is no coincidence that Satan has reared’ his ugly head – maybe in the disguise as Sa Tan;· though I fail to see the disguise – while the World Evangelical Fellows hips gathered here last week.

Let’s get serious about this. Let’s not tolerate it. Let’s be aware, and above all else, let’s’ stand firm in our belief and not brush this aside as humor,. funny, or a lark.

Angela Evel’lIett
Abbots9fd

Abbotsford News
May 29
A1
School chairman calls for criminal charges against Sa Tan
James Kwantes

School board chairman John Smith is calling tor criminal charges to be laid after posters advertising Sa Tan – a “fringe” candidate in tne Fraser Valley riding – turned up at several high schools.

The poster Smith objects to features a bound and blindfolded girl, allegedly a 14-year-old “virgin bride,” wearing a nightie, with the caption, Vote Satan, or the virgin gets it!

Other posters invite readers to an “orgy” to be held in Abbotsford on June 2.

“People’s freedom of speech stops when it implies violence or violent behavior,” said Smith, noting he’s had calls from parents “angry and disgusted” at the posters. “I would like to see charges laid at the risk of giving these people publicity.”

About 100 posters were put up Thursday night outside several local schools, including Abby Junior, Robert Bateman, Abby Senior and Abbotsford Continuing Education.

A person handing out the posters at Yale Secondary on Friday left after being warned by school officials.

Paul Brinton, assistant superintendent of student services, said most of the posters were discovered early Friday morning and taken down without students seeing them.

School board officials notified the police.

Const. Elly Sawchuk of Abbotsford City Police said the force conferred with Regional Crown counsel, who judged that the material did not fall under the definition of “obscenity” as it exists in the Criminal Code.

Sawchuk said the police share the public’s disgust with the campaign, but will not lay charges.

“If 1 was walking in a mall with my child and saw this, I would be very angry,” she said.

Trustee Joanne Field said the candidate was irresponsible to be distributing “disgusting pornography” on the grounds of local schools.

“It was described to me what was on them and I didn’t even look,” she said. “I didn’t want to violate my mind.”

Brian Salmi, the Vancouver pub manager running as “Sa Tar” who staged a Bible burning outside Central Heights church recently, dismissed the concerns.

“Obscenity exists only in a person’s mind,” he said. “It’s satire.”

The girl featured in the campaign poster said she did not feel demeaned by it.

“It’s a joke that’s not necessarily funny to everyone,” said the girl, who would not give her real name. “We realize the impact of the joke in the so-called Bible Belt, that’s what we’re going for. We’re playing with people’s emotions.”

Abbotsford News (BC)
May 29, 1997
A3
Sa Tan raises hell over coverage
Christopher Foulds

The candidate running as Sa Tan (Satan) in Fraser Valley said he is being censored by the Abbotsford media and said he is running not to win. but to expose the “hypocrisy” that exists in the Valley.

Brian Salmi stopped by The Abbotsford News offices Tuesday to offer his view that his independent candidacy is not receiving equal coverage to other fringe candidates, such as Rodger Brown of the Christian Heritage Party.

Salmi said an editorial in a Chilliwack newspaper urging voters to complain to B.C.’s Human Rights Commission about Salmi’s burning of seven Bibles in Abbotsford is a Hassic example of the hypocrisy.

“These are the same people (newspaper) defending Doug Collins’ right to write anti- Semitic drivel,” Salmi said.

“The people attacking the human rights commission are the same people who are urging people to take me to the commission.”

Salmi noted other “hypocritical” acts, such as receiving death threats from Christians, having the Chilliwack RCMP ignore a crime when Salmi’s campaign poster was ripped up Monday night and having the Chilliwack Chamber of Commerce try – unsuccess­fully – to ban Salmi from Tuesday’s debate.

“We expected all this out here,” Salmi said. “We’re not running to win. We’re not deluded. We want to shine a light on the hypocrisy.”

Salmi, who writes’ for Vancouver’s Terminal City newspaper, said most every word written about his campaign thus far was contained in opinion pieces, which he views as “poor journalism.”

Meanwhile, Salmi said, he has yet to hear from the B.C. Human Rights Commission in relation to his burning of bibles.

Salmi added that Reform MP Chuck Strahl is mistaken in claiming that Salmi’s nomination papers were not in order.

Salmi, who is a veteran candidate – having ran as a candidate numerous times – said he has great knowledge of the Canada Elections Act.

“We asked him (returning officer Jorgen Munck) to check it out twice and we know damn well it was all right under the Elections Act.”

Abbotsford News
May 29, 1997
A3
Politicos mull issues one last time
Sa Tan’s campaigned dubbed ‘an absolute disgrace’
Christopher Foulds

Harry Wiens (PC) defended the GST. John Les (LIB) defended Bill C- 68. Chuck Strahl (REF) defended his efforts to save CFB Chilliwack, Rodger Brown (CHP) defended the sanctity of life – and Dr. Rob Lees (NDP) and Carol Battaglio (GRN) defended Satan’s (IND) right run in the June 2 federal election.

More than 200 people fdled the Rancho Hall last night to attend the final meeting featuring Fraser Valley candidates.

Natural Law Party candidate Patrick Boylan was again a no-show.

Four questions referred to Bill C-68. including One lady asking why S5 million is spent on breast cancer research, while S17 million is spent on the registration requirements.

Les said he believes more research money is needed, but he also defended spending money on gun registration.

“It’s also unacceptable to me that every six days a woman is shot with a gun,” he said. “Asking people to register their guns for a one-time fee of $10, I don’t believe, is a huge imposition.”

Lees said an independent audit of the bill is needed, to determine if it is effective, or more effective, than existing regulations.

Strahl said medical necessity should drive research funding and added that he agrees with some aspects of Bill C- 68. but not the registration portions.

On the GST issue. Wiens reminded voters the tax replaced the 12 per cent manufacturers tax, Lees and Battaglio called it a “regressive tax” that hurts the poor and Brown labelled it a “burden on businesses.”

Les admitted his Liberal Party did promise to abolish the tax, but added that the promise was made when the Tories claimed the deficit was $31 billion – not $42 billion as was later discovered.

Strahl made no promise that Reform would ditch the tax, but said it would be “phased out” once the budget was balanced.

Les was asked if he agreed with the practice of parachuting candidates into ridings, the speaker referring to the Liberals

Chilliwack Progress
May 30, 1997
A11
School board boss calls for charges against gag candidate
James Kwantes

Abbotsford school board chairman John Smith is calling for criminal charges to be laid after posters advertising Sa Tan – a “fringe” candidate in the Fraser Valley riding – turned up at several high schools.

The poster Smith objects to features a bound and blind­folded girl, allegedly a 14-year-old “virgin bride,” wearing a nightie, with the caption, ‘Vote Satan, or the virgin gets it!” Other posters invite readers to an orgy to be held in Abbotsford on June 2.

“People’s freedom of speech stops when it implies vio­lence or violent behavior,” said Smith, noting he’s had calls from parents “angry and disgusted” at the posters. “I would like to see charges laid at the risk of giving these people pub­licity.” About 100 posters were put up last Thursday night Bateman, outside several local schools, including Abby Junior, Robert Education.

Chilliwack Progress (BC)
May 30, 1997
Page unknown – editorial
Election: just do it

Remind us again why we’re hav­ing this election.

Sure, it’s been kinda fun. Watching bad Bloc Quebecois bus drivers and hearing about Clifford Olson’s voting rights and all.

And Sa Tan, the gag candidate – and we do mean gag – added only a little spice to a lack­lustre campaign. (In fact, we expected more from the, ahem, Prince of Darkness, like a little hellfire or a few magic tricks.)

But it seems that Jean Chretien’s see no evil, hear no evil, do no evil campaign strategy has worked and we’re ready to yawn our way to the ballot box.

Of course, we’re out of pocket for the cost of the election, but that’s a small price to pay for democracy.

The essential ques­tion for us in the ’wack is whether we want to send an MP to Ottawa as member of govern­ment or as a member of the opposition.

Chuck Strahl and John Les are both good men and capable politi­cians.

In fact, if one were to be cynical about this whole process, one could argue that they went to the same right wing finishing school, learning how to talk the same, walk the same, and even sound the same when they’re on the stump.

But we aren’t cynical here at The Progress. We think voting is im­portant, even when the choices are tough.

See you at the polls. We’ll be the ones holding our noses.

Chilliwack Progess (BC)
May 30, 1997
Page unknown – letter to the editor
Lucifer speaks foul for youth

As a youth of Chilliwack, would like to address some of the things Mr. Sa Tan had to say. He said the senior citizens are the reason we, the youth, are here today. They were the ones who fought for out country and all we have today.

Sa Tan used the great works of Shakespeare to make a mockery of this election. I don’t believe that using hockey as a metaphor can be an effec­tive way to get a person’s point across. This just goes to prove how little Sa Tan knows about government and pub­lic speaking.

I wanted to write this letter to show Sa Tan that the young people are inter­ested and I am embaraSsed by the thought that he says he speaks for the youth of Chilliwack.

This election is a decision that will affect the lives of Canadians for the next four years and 1 believe it is rude and unjust for Sa Tan to make a joke out of it.

Remember that the majority of youth in this town don’t share Mr. Sa Tan’s views on Canada, this election, and the good people of Chilliwack.

Gert Jackman, 19
Chilliwack

Chilliwack Progess (BC)
May 30, 1997
Page unknown
Devilish deeds on campaign trail only broadens appeal
Doug Yovanovich

Much ado about noth­ing. That’s what I make of all this fuss over Brian Salmi’s Gnu Democratic Rhino Reform Party and the devil candidate in the Fraser Valley.

Sa Tan’s namesake down­stairs would be proud of all the hell we’ve raised about it.

The truth is, Lucifer isn’t even after your votes.

A concerned Liberal sup­porter asked him outside an all-candidates’ meeting Monday how he would rep­resent this religiously-di- verse riding.

“Chilliwack isn’t going to elect me,” he replied. “It’s a moot point.”

Exactly.

Satan stands for voter malcontent. He is a fierce reminder that 30 per cent of the population didn’t even cast ballots in the 1993 elec­tion.

And while it would be a jump in logic to suggest that those 30 per cent would sup­port Satan, it does suggest a consistency with his logic.

Fringe parties have been around since man first learned to carve X’s on granite ballots.

In the 60s and 70s, Canada had the Rhinoceros Party.

In 1996, the City of Vancouver had one Ronald F. McDonald in the mayoral race — also a product of Salmi’s cynicism.

Do fringe players con­tribute to the no­show count, or do they mitigate it? Look around you and you’ll see the answer.

Fringe play­ers help accom­plish one impor­tant thing: They raise awareness and they get people involved. At the Chamber of Commerce’s all-candidates meeting Tuesday, about 20 teens and young adults came to see the devil make his highly-touted appearance.

Of course it was the Halloween antics that at­tracted them, but it was his spurn of the political process that got them involved.

So take Salmi’s comedic disdain with a 50 lb. bag of salt if you must. If just one of that 30 per cent casts a vote for what ol’ Beelzebub stands for, at least they have had their say. And that’s im­portant because a democra­cy is only as strong as it is diverse.

Chilliwack Progress (BC)
May 30, 1997
Page unknown
Crank candidate fails to frighten
Robert Freeman

Sa Tan made his first Chilliwack campaign ap­pearance at an all-candidates meeting held at the First Avenue Christian Assembly church on Monday.

The Gnu Democratic Rhino Party candidate, who was not invited to the meeting, asked the other candidates their posi­tions on freedom of expression, and then left the church with his “virgin bride” making two-fingered “devil” hand signs.

Said moderator Sharon Gaetz to a crowd of about 350 after the dramatic exit: “Notice how Satan grandstands, but he doesn’t stay in the House of Love.”

Candidates at the meeting hosted by the Chilliwack Ministerial Association answered audience questions on a wide range of issues, from the national debt to international trade.

“1 don’t think Christian views are as narrow as people think they are,” Gaetz said.

She agreed Sa Tan’s question to the candidates was “fair enough,” but “1 was afraid it might get out of hand and he might desecrate the church or do something untoward.”

Abbotsford Times (BC)
May 30, 1997
Page unknown
Posters anger parents
Kevin Gillies

Parents of Abbotsford students are angry posters and hand-outs promoting violence against women are appearing on school prop­erties and in the hands of students.

“This is entirely inap­propriate for student:, to be exposed to this rubbish,” said school board chairman John Smith. He said school district of­f i c i a 1 s made a for­mal com­plaint with C r o w n prosecu­tors. The Crow n though said charges are doubtful. John Smith

“It’s very obscure, carefully worded . . ” Smith said.

Posters depicting a woman bound at the wrists above her head and blind­folded have appeare at Yale secondary, Abbotsford junior secondary and Ab­botsford Continuing Educa­tion.

The posters urge voters to vote for Fraser Valley candidate Satan . . or the virgin gets it.”

Smith, who says he’s been contacted by several parents, said a poster was taken down off a portable at one Abbotsford school.

“This goes beyond bad taste . . . it’s the implied threat of violence to women,” said Smith.

“This isn’t political satire such as you got w,ith the Rhinoceros party. It’s offensive and denigrating to women. 1 don’t think we should be prepared to con­done it with silence,” Smith said.

Chilliwack Times (BC)
June 3, 1997
Page unknown
No charges for Satan
Scott Harrison

Offensive, yes.

Illegal, no.

After investigating the election material distributed by joke candidate Sa Tan, the B.C. Human Rights Com­mission has announcedlit will not to pursue charges. A spokesperson with the com­mission contacted the Chilli­wack Times Friday to con­firm its investigation has ended.

“Is it very offensive – yes.

Is it in bad taste – yes,” said the spokesperson, who did not give a name. “It is not, however, considered hate lit­erature.”

The literature in question included a news release la­beling Fraser Valley resi­dents “right-wing Jesus nuts” and “half-witted Bible thumpers.” As well, Sa Tan’s followers plastered porno­graphic posters all over the riding promoting an election- night orgy if elected and calling for a name change for the city of Abbotsford to Abortsford.

The B.C. Human Rights Commission added it “has no jurisdiction” with Elec­tions Canada mater: al. The spokesperson said if valley residents wanted to lodge further complaints, they should do so with the Cana­dian Human Rights Commis­sion, not its B.C. body.

Sa Tan is the brainchild of Brian Salmi and the Gnu De­mocratic Rhino Reform Par­ty. Salmi, a Vancouver pub manager, has run joke candi­dates in previous elections.

Chilliwack Times
June 3, 1997
Page unknown – letter to the editor
Satan coverage was rather silly

The typical amount of nausea I feel after reading Scott David Harrison’s feeble attempt at a newspaper column was recently augmented, after some­how dragging my unco-operative eyes over yet another installment of his grade school, Christian dogma slop. Does one have to reside in Vancouver to find some local journalists who have not forgotten that the media is sup­posed to be unbiased?

So a man calling himself Sa Tan was running for office. Big deal.

Would it be any less offensive if he called himself Je Sus?

1 thought not.

As soon as more people realize what freedom means; that we are free to do as we please within the law, maybe we will all have a chance to express ourselves in whichever manner we choose.

Sa Tan wishes to put an abortion clinic on every corner.

Is abortion not legal under our law? Do you not respect our law?

If you don’t, why not begin the steps necessary to change it?

Why focus your energy (and useless press coverage) on one individual who was obviously frustrated by the lack of character and responsibility elected to office in our midst as the rest of us are.

I will not vote for Sa Tan, or any other of our nefarious candidates until I can honestly vote for a person I truly believe will change things, instead of just voting for the lesser of two evils.

If anyone else doesn’t approve of the choices, I suggest you do the same. Scott, as for your oh-so-clever inquiry of “who’s laughing now?”…only those of us with a sense of humor and intelligent enough to do so are.

Chris Neufeld

Sardis

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