The Hill : Court strikes a blow against CFPB’s equity-fueled overreach

February 21, 2023 | By JESSICA THOMPSON

Barry Sturner is like most Chicagoans: He loves the Cubs, the Blackhawks and a Chicago-style hot dog. Sturner started a small mortgage company, Townstone Financial, to help his neighbors achieve their dream of owning a home. Townstone primarily markets its services through radio ads and a weekly infotainment show. The shows were broadcast throughou ...


The Carolina Journal : Farmville officials relax food-truck regulations. That’s a win for everyone

November 25, 2022 | By JESSICA THOMPSON

In 2019, barbeque pitmaster Mark Shirley of Walstonburg decided to test his entrepreneurial skills by launching his own food truck business, Ole Time Smokehouse. If he succeeded, he thought, he might eventually expand into a brick-and-mortar restaurant. Ole Time Smokehouse was indeed a hit, as Shirley built up a base of loyal customers in and R ...


Lunch at Ole Time Smokehouse

June 24, 2022 | By JESSICA THOMPSON

This article originally appeared in the Summer 2022 issue of our quarterly magazine, Sword&Scales. On days when Mark Shirley serves lunch at his food truck, Ole Time Smokehouse, he wakes up at 3:30 a.m. By the time most people in Farmville, North Carolina, are just getting out of bed, Mark’s barbeque has already been cooking … ...


Club 519’s legal fight is over. Now they’re celebrating.

June 22, 2022 | By JESSICA THOMPSON

The pandemic was hard on all small businesses in North Carolina, but perhaps most of all on “private bars”—an antiquated classification of bars in North Carolina from the prohibition era. An establishment is considered a private bar if it makes 75% or more of its profit from alcohol sales. When Rob and Crystal Waldron reached … ...


Carolina Journal : Emergency powers reforms are a big win for North Carolinians

November 26, 2021 | By JESSICA THOMPSON

Last week, the North Carolina General Assembly passed, and Gov. Roy Cooper signed, a budget bill that was striking for several reasons, including amendments to the Emergency Management Act (EMA) that will boost protections for North Carolinians’ constitutional rights. The new reforms put an automatic end date onto any declaration of emergency ...


The North State Journal : Food truck pitmaster fights Farmville’s protectionist laws for right to earn an honest living

November 09, 2021 | By JESSICA THOMPSON

Given all the heat around political debates these days, it’s understandable that people try to avoid what’s known as the third rail of North Carolina politics: the barbeque question. For over a century, North Carolinians have debated whether Lexington-style or Eastern-style barbeque represents the true Carolina barbeque. But barbeque hi ...


Bureaucrats can’t ignore presidential appointments

October 04, 2021 | By JESSICA THOMPSON

Have you ever wondered what happens when a lame duck president appoints someone to a position that extends into the next president’s term? Typically, once the new president takes office, he can remove appointees of past administrations and replace them with people he believes will advance the policy agenda of the White House. But what … ...


Agency bureaucrats can’t ignore Marbury v. Madison

July 16, 2021 | By JESSICA THOMPSON

***Editor’s note: The Department of Education ignored our demand letter and failed to call the NBES meeting, so now we are seeking the NBES meeting in Court so Hanke, Yoo and NBES can carry out their oversight duties.   History and civics classes across the country teach the importance of political accountability for preserving individua ...


Carolina Journal : Why we’re still fighting Gov. Cooper

May 21, 2021 | By JESSICA THOMPSON

Crystal Waldron and Club 519 were shuttered for almost a year due to economic favoritism. She suffered through six months of discriminatory treatment — watching former customers have drinks at her direct competitors — with no end in sight and bills piling up. Left without another option, Mrs. Waldron, co-owner of Club 519, initially sued ̷ ...