SO I created a new VM with bionic, copied Rik Mills' PPA version, and it built properly using dpkg-buildpackage (NOT sbuild or pbuilder)

Every attempt to build Ubuntu versions in the sbuild environment I was using failed in the tests phase.

The Debian versions built properly; just not the Ubuntu versions.

MAYBE because the VM was a Debian Buster VM???? I don't see why.....
There must be some weird things going on in the sbuild environments.

But I am going to take this as a success. I just want to replicate it with a "properly constructed" debian package.