Interest Groups & Advocacy

, Volume 8, Issue 4, pp 621–638 | Cite as

‘Would you make your very best case’: enforcing lobbying regulations through stipulation practice

  • Julian MolinaEmail author
Original Article


Interest group and advocacy researchers have closely studied how different lobbying regulations emerge in varying political systems, but less attention has been given to the practices for enforcing those regulations or the interactional work of regulatory professionals. Through presenting transcripts of the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission’s public meetings, the article demonstrates how enforcing lobbying regulations requires a stipulation practice. Though there are multiple practices required to effectively enforce lobbying regulations, investigative staff and commissioners approach this stipulation practice by scrutinising whether proposed actions, namely financial penalties, reflect the commission’s strategy across each and every case. Drawing on ethnomethodology and studies of legal professionals, the article argues that the enforcement of lobbying regulations involves ordinary practices for passing proposed enforcement actions.


Enforcement work Ethics commissions Ethnomethodological studies of work Lobbying regulation Los Angeles City Ethics Commission 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The author states that there is no conflict of interest.


  1. Ainsworth, S. 2002. Analysing Group Interests: Group Influence on People and Politics. New York, W.W: Norton.Google Scholar
  2. Bilmes, J. 2012. Truth and Proof in a Lawyer’s Story. Journal of Pragmatics 44(2): 1626–1638.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bradbury, M.D. 2007. Towards a Cost-Effectiveness Assessment of State Ethics Commissions. Public Integrity. 9(4): 333–347.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Burns, S.L. 2012. “Lecturing’s Work”: A Collaborative Study with Harold Garfinkel. Human Studies 35(2): 175–192.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Burns, S.L. 2013. Making Settlement Work: An Examination of the Work of Judicial Mediators. Abington, Oxon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  6. Chari, R., J. Hogan, and G. Murphy. 2012. Regulating Lobbying: A Global Comparison. Manchester: Manchester University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Chari, R., G. Murphy, and J. Hogan. 2007. Regulating Lobbyists: A Comparative Analysis of the United States, Canada, Germany and the Political Union. The Political Quarterly 78(3): 422–438.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Crepaz, M. 2017. Why do We Have Lobbying Rules? Investigating the Introduction of Lobbying Laws in EU and OECD Member States. Interest Groups & Advocacy. 6(3): 231–252.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Crider, K., and J. Milyo. 2013. Do State Ethics Commissions Reduce Political Corruption? An Exploratory Investigation. UC Irvine Law Review 3: 717–733.Google Scholar
  10. Drutman, L., and C. Mahoney. 2017. On the Advantages of a Well-Constructed Lobbying System: Toward a more Democratic, Modern Lobbying Process. Interest Groups & Advocacy. 6(3): 290–310.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Emerson, R.M. 1969. Judging Delinquents: Context and Process in Juvenile Courts. New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  12. Fain, H. 2002. The Case for a Zero Gift Policy. Public Integrity. 4(1): 61–69.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Garfinkel, H. 2002. Ethnomethodology’s Program: Working Out Durkheim’s Aphorism. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers Inc.Google Scholar
  14. Godwin, K., S. Ainsworth, and E. Godwin. 2013. Lobbying and Policymaking: The Public Pursuit of Private Interests. Thousand Oaks: SAGE Publications.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Healy, R. 2016. Working the Angles: The Job of a Corporate Lobbyist. In Interest Group Politics, ed. A.J. Cigler, B.A. Loomis, and A.J. Nownes, 305–326. Los Angeles: SAGE/CQ Press.Google Scholar
  16. Heath, C. 1984. Review essay: Everett Cherrington Hughes (1897–1983): A Note on His Approach and Influence. Sociology of Health & Illness 6(2): 218–237.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Holyoke, T. 2014. Why Lobbyists for Competing Interests Often Cooperate. In New Directions in Interest Group Politics, ed. M. Grossman, 105–121. Abingdon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  18. Holyoke, T. 2017. A Theoretical Foundation for Assessing Principle-Agent Problems in Lobbying Ethics and an Empirical Test. Interest Groups & Advocacy 6(3): 272–289.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. LaPira, T.M., and T.T. Holyoke. 2017. Draining the Swamp, or Cultivating the Wetlands? Toward Evidence-Based Lobbying Regulation and Reform. Interest Groups & Advocacy 6(3): 195–198.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Lynch, M. 1997. Preliminary Notes on Judges’ Work: The Judge as a Constituent of Courtroom Hearings. In Law in Action: Ethnomethodological and Conversation Analytic Approaches to Law, ed. M. Travers and J. Manzo, 99–130. Aldershot: Dartmouth Publishing Co.Google Scholar
  21. Lynch, M., and D. Boden. 1996. The Spectacle of History: Speech, Text, and Memory at the Iran-Contra Hearings. Durham: Duke University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Maynard, D.W. 1984. Inside Plea Bargaining: The Language of Negotiation. Boston: Springer.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Menzel, D.C. 2005. Research on Ethics and Integrity in Governance: A Review and Assessment. Public Integrity 7(2): 147–168.Google Scholar
  24. Menzel, D.C. 2015. Research on Ethics and Integrity in Public Administration: Moving Forward, Looking Back. Public Integrity 17: 343–370.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Menzel, D.C., and J.E. Benton. 1991. Ethics Complaints and Local Government: The Case of Florida. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory 1(4): 419–436.Google Scholar
  26. Newmark, A.J. 2017. Lobbying Regulation in the States Revisited: What are We Trying to Measure, and How do We Measure It? Interest Groups & Advocacy 6(3): 215–230.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Rouncefield, M., and P. Tolmie. 2011. Ethnomethodology at Work. Farnham: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  28. Schegloff, E.A. 2007. Sequence Organization In Interaction: A Primer In Conversation Analysis, Vol. 1. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Silverman, D. 2015. Interpreting Qualitative Data. London: Sage Publications Ltd.Google Scholar
  30. Thomas, H.F., and T.M. LaPira. 2017. How Many Lobbyists Are In Washington? Shadow Lobbying And The Gray Market For Policy Advocacy. Interest Groups & Advocacy 6(3): 199–214.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Timmermans, S., and S. Steven Epstein. 2010. A World of Standards but not a Standard World: Toward a Sociology of Standards and Standardization. Annual Review of Sociology 36: 69–89.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Van Noy, C.M. 2000. The City of Seattle and Campaign Finance Reform: A Case Study. Public Integrity 2(4): 303–316.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Vargovčíková, J. 2017. Inside Lobbying Regulation in Poland and the Czech Republic: Negotiating Private and Private Actors’ Roles in Governance. Interest Groups & Advocacy 6(3): 253–271.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Vogelsang-Coombs, V. 2016. The Political Ethics of Public Service. New York: Palgrave Macmillan US.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Watson, R. 2009. Analysing Practical and Professional Texts: A Naturalistic Approach. Farnham: Ashgate.Google Scholar
  36. Watson, R., and A. Carlin. 2012. ‘Information’: Praxeological considerations. Human Studies 35(2): 327–345.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Zeller, B. 1948. American Government and Politics: The Federal Regulation of Lobbying Act. American Political Science Review 42(2): 239–271.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Limited 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.LondonUK

Personalised recommendations