Fred Eshelman, CEO of North Carolina-based Pharmaceutical Product Development, has given $3.38 million to RightChange.com, an organization taking part in the onslaught of outside spending this election cycle, according to documents filed with the IRS. Almost all of the money going to RightChange comes from Eshelman; the organization is a vehicle for him to air his political views, which happen to align with the GOP's.
The documents also show that, in addition to Eshelman's support, RightChange.com received $105,000 from a group sharing its name, RightChange II. The ultimate origins of that money was not disclosed. Eshelman is also listed as the contact person and the custodian of records for the organization.
Rightchange.com ran ads in the 2008 election cycle as well.
RightChange.com has spent nearly $3 million so far on nine senate races, including the highly contested Senate seats in Washington, Colorado, and Nevada and various house races in Ohio and Florida. RightChange.com uses Eshelman's money to oppose Democrats or support Republicans.
Unlike dark money operations like American Action Network that leaves no trace of who is funding it, RightChange.com is a 527 group, named for the section of the tax code under which it is organized. The quarterly and pre-general election disclosures which it filed with the IRS reveal that Eshelman made two contributions to the organization, one in September and one in October.
According to TransparencyData.com, Eshelman has also given $20,000 to the Richard Burr 2010 Victory Committee, a joint fundraising vehicle that benefits Sen. Richard Burr, D-N.C., and state Republicans. RightChange.org but he has not made independent expenditures in that race.