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A lobbyist is a person tries to influence the votes of legislators on behalf of a special interest. What would the correct term be for the legislators being lobbied? Lobbyee might be a logical conclusion, but it looks and sounds terrible (at least to me).

Note: If the word you suggest has more subtle connotations, e.g. it describes a legislator that is particularly easily swayed lobbyists, please be sure to mention that.

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    "Hono[u]rable member". – Spehro Pefhany Jul 30 '14 at 19:02
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    By your definition, legislators. Also, the distinguished gentleman (or lady). – Elliott Frisch Jul 30 '14 at 19:04
  • @ElliottFrisch Well for example, I think it would be fair to describe one legislator who tries to influence his or her co-legislators as a lobbyist. In this situation, what term would you use to describe the other legislators? – p.s.w.g Jul 30 '14 at 19:10
  • @p.s.w.g No. That makes them an advocate. A lobbyist is someone specifically employed to lobby (or advocate) on behalf of some third-party. – Elliott Frisch Jul 30 '14 at 19:12
  • @ElliottFrisch You might be right. Maybe I'm using the terms incorrectly. There could also be a difference in British English vs. American English. I just finished donating blood, so it's also possible I'm not thinking 100% clearly at the moment :P – p.s.w.g Jul 30 '14 at 19:16
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This could be answered in many ways that all depend upon who is being lobbied and what their position and organization to which they belong is. (e.g. Senator, Chairman, Legislator, etc.)

Some suggestions that are irrespective of who or what is being lobbied:

target : a place, thing, or person at which an attack is aimed

Merriam-Webster

Has the connotation of the lobbying being an attack or some kind, that the end goal of the lobbying is somehow harmful to the person using this term to describe the action. Synonyms with varying degrees of this connotation include: prey, quarry, game

mark : 15.b. slang the intended victim of a swindler, hustler, or the like: The cardsharps picked their marks from among the tourists on the cruise ship.

dictionary.com

Connotes a degree of deceit on the part of the lobbyist. Combined with easy mark, connotes one who is easily taken advantage of. Synonyms include: dupe, (clay) pigeon, sucker, doormat.

More neutrally, we have the logical lobbyee (or lobbee) and lobbied as others have suggested, but you could consider:

colleague : an associate in a profession or in a civil or ecclesiastical office

Merriam-Webster

Has no connotation of what the association with the lobbyist is. Combined with a adjective phrase, such as colleagues in the House and Senate, it could fit into your usage. However, it could cast the impression that lobbyists and private organizations are an essential part of the system. Synonyms include: counterpart, peer, confederate. Near synonyms with a definite negative connotation include: crony, chum, co-conspirator, accomplice.

Neutral, near synonyms to lobby include influence, solicit, approach, accost, which have more reasonable forms of past-tense-direct-object: the influencee/d, solicited, approached, or accostee.

You could also use a general term which makes their role obvious when partnered with lobbyist, such as the power holder, incumbent, or office holder.

  • Thank you, this has given me a lot of options to play with. I think I like target the most as a general term because it's used pretty commonly in various political contexts (at least in the US), but the other ones you've suggested will work well other situations. – p.s.w.g Jul 30 '14 at 19:56
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The lobbyist "lobbies." The legislator is "lobbied."

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