As Simon Davis-Cohen reported for In These Times in 2016, a constitutional convention has long been a prize of corporate interest groups and states-rights advocates. While the Maine House rejected a convention proposal last week, 12 other states have recently applied to hold one. Combined with 16 states that passed resolutions during a conservative push in the 1980s, that brings the total to 28—just six short of the 34 needed to trigger the confab.

As Davis-Cohen documents, ALEC—the Koch-brothers-funded dark money group—has been a major force behind the bills, distributing model legislation to friendly state lawmakers. The group hopes to use the convention to shift power to the states, proposing amendments to “impose fiscal restraints on the federal government” and repeal term limits for federal officials and members of Congress.

ALEC may be close to getting its wishes granted. After the November elections, Republicans now control both legislative chambers in 32 states. In 25 of those states, they also hold the governor’s mansion.

Wisconsin, in particular, has been a beachhead of rightwing state takeovers. The Koch brothers and other right-wing interests contributed handsomely to Gov. Scott Walker’s 2010 election campaign—an attempt to turn the traditionally progressive state into a laboratory for free market policies. Following suit, the language around Article V in Wisconsin suggests the state will use the convention to propose “amendments relating to a balanced budget.”
BREAKING: Wisconsin May Bring the Koch Brothers One State Closer To Rewriting the Constitution - In These Times