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Businessman to bankroll Super PAC backing Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson


From The Business Journals
By Kent Hoover

June 1, 2016

The founder of a California tomato processing company will bankroll a Super PAC supporting Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party’s nominee for president.

“We need to make this happen,” Chris Rufer told The Hill newspaper.

Rufer, who is president of Woodland, Calif.-based Morning Star, said he will will give at least $1 million to a Super PAC backing Johnson, but he hasn’t identified which group will get it. Possibilities include Purple PAC, a super PAC run by Cato Institute founder Ed Crane, and Free the People, an outside group run by Matt Kibbe, who had been a Rand Paul supporter.

A well-funded Super PAC could make Johnson more of a player in this year’s presidential election. He got only 1 percent of the popular vote as the Libertarian Party’s nominee in 2012. But a new Quinnipiac University pollfound that he’s got 5 percent support this year. (Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump by 40 percent to 38 percent, with Green Party candidate Jill Stein at 3 percent.) Other polls have put support for Johnson as high as 10 percent.

Johnson, a former governor of New Mexico, tapped former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld as his running mate, in a bid to show that he’s a serious candidate. He hopes to convince voters who don’t like Clinton or Trump that he’s a viable alternative.

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About Post Author

Jill Pyeatt

Jill Pyeatt is a small-business owner and jewelry designer from Southern California. She currently serves on the Judicial Committee of the Libertarian Party of CA. She can be found on Facebook and Twitter.


  1. Shane Shane June 2, 2016

    Rufer is a great guy. What he’s done with his company is art and worth studying.

  2. Tony From Long Island Tony From Long Island June 2, 2016

    CREDIBILITY – – – – The whole reason for the Johnson / Weld ticket. The donors who will support the ticket would not have given a dime to any of the other LP POTUS candidates, had they been nominated. Just my opinion.

  3. George Whitfield George Whitfield June 1, 2016

    Thank you Chris Rufer for your interest and generosity.

  4. Andy Andy June 1, 2016

    Chris Rufer had a Super PAC for Johnson in the last election. I believe he spent close to $500,000 on it.

    Rufer is a hardcore Libertarian to the best of my knowledge, and he has donated lots of money to the Libertarian Party and to Libertarian candidates over the years. I know that he also financed a referendum petition drive in Sacramento a few years ago to stop a tax payer funded arena from being built. He also donated to Ron Paul’s runs in the Republican presidential primaries in 2008 and 2012. He has donated to other pro-liberty projects over the years as well.

  5. Krzysztof Lesiak Krzysztof Lesiak June 1, 2016

    Also Purple PAC currently holds 1 star out of 5 in Facebook reviews from angry Rand Paul supporters:

    Aleks Witos?awski “Too bad you guys double crossed your donors when you gave Sen. Paul bad press. Hope you’re ashamed of yourselves.”

    “If you love being double-crossed and stabbed in the back, then donate money to Purple PAC. They’ll tell you they’re raising money for one thing and then change their minds AFTER you give them your cash.”

    Kameron Suire “That money you raised better be spent on Rand now that you dropped your support. If not, You guys will have screwed your credibility. I expect the money to be spent on Rand, or I will make sure every Rand supporters knows what you guys did.”

    To be fair, there’s this: “Pro-Rand Paul PAC isn’t shutting down, just asking Rand Paul to be more libertarian”

    Still, people donated money to this PAC, and now they’re pissed. I guess that’s something to think about.

  6. Krzysztof Lesiak Krzysztof Lesiak June 1, 2016

    About Chris Rufer’s company, from Wiki:

    “The Morning Star Company is a California based agribusiness and food processing company. Morning Star processes 25% of the California processing tomato production, and supplies approximately 40% of the U.S. industrial tomato paste and diced tomato markets. It has 400 employees and revenues of $700 million.[1]

    The company has attracted attention for its libertarian philosophy of no supervisory management. Instead, workers are encouraged to innovate independently, define job responsibilities themselves, and even make equipment purchasing decisions in consultation with experts.[2]”

    Sounds like ancap ideas are being put into practice at his company. It’d be really interesting to see how they operate. Like how hiring/firing decisions, etc. I wonder what the starting pay is.

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