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He represented her this year when the Office of Campaign Finance investigated complaints of misuse of constituent-service funds. Neither Mr. Wilmot nor Ms. Alexander would disclose terms of the legal representation.

With Mr. Wilmot raising money for and providing legal support to council members who represent three of the four wards where Wal-Mart seeks to build stores — Wards 4, 5 and 7 — only Mr. Wells of Ward 6 does not appear to be on Mr. Wilmot’s Christmas list. As The Washington Times recently reported, though, Mr. Wilmot does hold a development interest in the Ward 6 parcel where a Wal-Mart will go someday, having land-banked the property for decades and rented it out to the Government Printing Office as a parking lot for the past 18 years.

On Sunday, Mr. Wells said the Bowser bill doesn’t go far enough toward curbing routinely exploited loopholes and conflicts of interest. He cited laws in states such as Connecticut that prohibit city contractors from political fundraising on behalf of the officials whose votes and support they seek.

“We don’t have that many elected officials and we have a $10 billion budget, so there’s a lot of opportunity for influence,” Mr. Wells said. “So if you’re a lobbyist or a contractor who engages in political fundraising, you make money by selling influence. It’s the definition of pay to play.”