Rand Paul

Tomato plant owner in $1.5-million battle with water regulators over waste and odors

Tomato plant owner in $1.5-million battle with water regulators over waste and odors

Chris Rufer, 66, never has been keen on big government and always liked an underdog fight.

He was a long-shot candidate for the state Assembly and Congress in the early 1990s and has given more than $1 million to libertarian causes — including Ron and Rand Paul's presidential bids.

He has sued the state over hazardous waste fees and fought against its inspection system for tomatoes. He took on the Federal Elections Commission over "soft money" political donations and recently opposed a new basketball arena for the NBA Kings in his hometown of Sacramento.

Rufer has lost nearly all of those fights (though a couple might be classified as...

84°