In response to an enormous growth of trusts in the late nineteenth century, demands for reform among a wide spectrum of interest groups culminated in the Federal Trade Commission Act of 1915. Playing an influential, though little-recognized role in framing this legislation was Wisconsin progressive Democrat Joseph E. Davies. As Commissioner of Corporations, Davies served in a unique, dual capacity as both politician and regulator, giving him access to President Woodrow Wilson and influence on the antitrust legislation. Davies used his position to promote a vision of administrative regulation based on the nationally recognized “Wisconsin Idea.” In so doing, he intensified conflicts among Wilson's policy advisers that, in turn, had a critical impact on the antitrust legislation and on the potential effectiveness of the first commission. In the long run, however, Davies' approach to regulatory policy, based on the Wisconsin Idea, would become standard operating procedure for successful regulatory commissions of the twentieth century.