Ted Budd, a GOP congressman, got a hard lesson in the limits of his small-government philosophy early in his first term. But the new Wall Street allies he picked up during the debate over financial regulation give Americans a glimpse of how their legislative sausage is made.
When Budd won his House seat in November, among his biggest campaign donors were employees of Lowe’s Corp., the home-improvement chain headquartered in his North Carolina district. Budd is a retailer himself, and his ownership of a gun shop was a key part of his pitch to voters. He vowed to cut red tape, slash taxes and reduce regulations.