Earmarks: Special interest funding directed to a specific project by an individual legislator. The most famous example was Republican Senator Ted Stevens’ $223 million for a bridge to nowhere in Alaska. Earmarks exploded in number and expense under the Republicans. In his first 7 years, Bush signed spending bills containing 55,000 earmarks worth more than $100 billion. Bush only decided that there was something bad about them (nearly 6 years into his Presidency) when Democrats won control of the Congress.