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Pesky campaign finance rules—-it’s so hard to build up a war chest one $500 check at a time! Can you really blame sitting councilmembers for hoping their well-heeled supporters will find out a way around them? Bundling donations from limited liability corporations owned by real estate developers has become par for the course in D.C. politics, from Jack Evans to Jim Graham, and the Council nixed an attempt to ban them in this last round of ethics reforms.
The latest installment comes from Ward 7 Councilmember Yvette Alexander, whose latest filing report shows 12 checks for $500 each from a Baltimore address belonging to the A&R Companies, which is building the Capitol Gateway shopping center that will host one of the ward’s two Walmarts. The $6,000 total comes to more than a third of Alexander’s haul this reporting period.
It’s not the first time Alexander’s campaign operation has overlapped with Walmart. Last year, the Washington Times reported that her campaign manager and a fundraiser were consulting for the super-retailer, and Walmart lobbyist David Wilmot co-hosted a fundraiser for her in December.
As for A&R’s project: It hasn’t submitted its zoning application yet, which means a community benefits agreement is still being negotiated, and Alexander’s help could be useful.