While no one was looking in 1988, a young conservative Christian activist figured out the arcane rules of Washington politics and led a political revolution. Bruce Hawkins, who had done some low-level work for John Spellman’s unsuccessful re-election campaign, was a supporter of Pat Robertson. He volunteered to help organize other Christian conservatives to win the state’s precinct caucuses.
This Associated Press story reports on more legal problems for Hawkins who became a lawyer but was disbarred in 2006.
A disbarred Gig Harbor lawyer faces charges stemming from a credit card debt elimination business.
The U.S. attorney’s office says 50-year-old Bruce Hawkins was arrested Monday morning pending arraignment Monday afternoon in Tacoma.
Hawkins was charged with money laundering and mail fraud in an eight-count indictment that was returned under seal in April.
He is accused of using his status as a lawyer to promote a false legal theory that national banks could not lend credit. On that basis, he falsely claimed the consumers did not have to pay their credit card debt or abide by limits on who could arbitrate disputes with banks.
He set up an arbitration business is accused of raking in more than $880,000 from 2002 to 2005. The next year, 2006, he was disbarred.
Hawkins wrote an important chapter in state political history. In 1988, then-Vice President George Bush was considered the obvious successor to Ronald Reagan. Conservatives doubted his commitment and went with Robertson but no one gave them much chance. The secret to winning caucuses, however, is showing up and Hawkins ran the grassroots effort to make sure that happened.
State Republicans were embarrassed that they sent one of two majority Robertson delegations to New Orleans. And the national party made sure the delegation did not have a prominent role – placing them in a distant hotel and seating them in the nose-bleed section of the Superdome. But that only made the victory sweeter for Hawkins and the other Robertson supporters. They had taken on the party’s establishment and won, forcing it to take the Christian wing of the party more seriously.
Later, some party leaders supported an initiative to replace the precinct caucus with a primary so as to negate the influence of small-but-active minority factions. That history explains why state Republicans have been slightly more supportive of the primary than their Democratic counterparts.
Hawkins was a delegate to the 1992 national convention and was Pat Robertson’s state campaign manager in 1996, but without the success he’d had eight years earlier.