November 28th, 2009
04:06 PM ET
12 years ago

Topless club owner names dog shelter after Gingrich

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Dawn Rizos donated $5,000 to open 'Newt's Nook'."]
(CNN)– Despite being uninvited to a "private dinner" given by Newt Gingrich, the owner of a Dallas topless club has no hard feelings. She used the money meant for a donation to the former house speaker's political organization to open up a dog shelter in his honor.

Last month, Dawn Rizos, owner of Dallas topless club The Lodge, received a letter from Gingrich's American Solutions inviting her to dine with Gingrich at a Capitol Hill club. She was also told she had been selected to receive an Entrepreneur of the Year Award. "Dawn – Newt is looking forward to finally meeting you face to face" to talk policy, read a handwritten note on the missive.

Lodge spokesman Michael Precker said they were told the group would need $5,000 to confirm her attendance, which they promptly paid. Shortly after, they were notified by a marketing company working for American Solutions that the invite had been mistakenly extended, and was being rescinded.

"Newt's Nook" opened its doors earlier this week, thanks to a $5,000 donation made by Rizos to the Animal Guardians, a dog rescue shelter 40 miles outside of Dallas. The shelter is meant to provide a place for dogs to recuperate until they are adopted.

"We're thrilled to help such a worthy project," said Rizos. "Instead of holding a grudge, we decided to make something positive out of his bad manners."

Rizos also announced a Valentine's Day special. The Lodge will donate an additional $100 to the Animal Guardians for each dog adopted through Valentine's Day 2010, along with a gift certificate to The Lodge or Stratos Global Greek Taverna.

Animal Guardians Director Annette Lambert says she will be forever grateful.

"Dawn [Rizos] didn't deserve to be treated like that, but this will do so much for these loving dogs until we find them good homes," Lambert said.

–CNN's Rebecca Sinderbrand contributed to this post.

Filed under: Newt Gingrich • Popular Posts
soundoff (100 Responses)
  1. FALSE NEWS...not really the news .. just propaganda from hate mongers to the no brainers

    this is the biggest pay-2-play political scam ever....and Newt was caught red-handed with his hand in the cookie jar....who's next? Pain-Lin the airhead!!!!

    November 28, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  2. JonPeter, Hartford, CT

    GOP: "Maybe next time she gets an invite she might want to check into it a bit more to be sure it is not a mistake."

    You got it backwards, typical right wing dimbulbery on your part.

    Next Time Newt or any other right wing dimbulb invites a successful businessperson with a thinly veiled invite seeking their money they should search their business background. With internet search tools how difficult might that be, any competant idiot should able to do so.

    November 28, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  3. Dave

    "Maybe next time she gets an invite she might want to check into it a bit more to be sure it is not a mistake." SHE needs to check it out? Typical Republican, blame the victim. Make no mistake, she was a victim here. Gingrich was trolling for dollars and hadn't a care in the world where it came from until it blew up in his face and then as someone else noted he threw her under the bus.

    November 28, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  4. Dan

    Is this a political piece on news?

    November 28, 2009 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  5. k

    Just how would a small business, a strip club no less, in another state get on the list of invites in the first place?

    I'm thinking Newtie-boy got on their mailing list or vice-versa thru some personal contact. Maybe as a customer?

    Should his wife #3 be starting to worry? Or at least be looking up divorce lawyers? Remember, he dumped wife #1 while she was undergoing cancer therapy. And this alter boy was sweating and grunting (what an image that makes!) with choir-girl soon-to-be-wife #3, while still married to unlucky #2.

    Don't you just love these self-righteous "conservatives"? Always ready to tell the rest of us how to live.

    November 28, 2009 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  6. Keith in Austin

    To Reagan was wrong;

    So let me get this straight. So now YOU are blaming Gingrich and the GOP for homeless Animals?

    What a pitiful excuse you are? Why don't you stop your crybaby liberal jibberish and get a life! You are so clueless!

    November 28, 2009 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  7. Hilarious

    I'm a Republican, and I love this story! I am saddened by all political figures–both right and left–who've been lying, cheating, and not listening to their constituents. I do think this woman outclassed Newt, and I think it's fabulous! I especially like Josh's comment asking about "Newtering". Definitely should do that! Hilarious!!

    November 28, 2009 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  8. Todd

    Just so long as newt and the other moral and values republicons kep tipping well in topless joints they will have the full support of strippers and street hookers. The gop has been a windfall for those professions in recent years. Eliot Spitzer, being a liberal with class, had the decency to hire expensive clean high calss prostitutes....

    November 28, 2009 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  9. Mark

    I don't know what is worse – being told you have to pay $5000 to get an "entrepreneur of the year" award or later being rejected because the group who selected you doesn't exactly approve of the business you are in. I wouldn't have let it go that far. Once I heard of the "fee," I would have asked "What kind of scam are you running?" and hung up the phone.

    Either way, the audacity of Republicans never ceases to amaze me. This scam they are running just proves what lows they are willing to go to to garner money and support. They are no better than those Who's Who companies that try to hook you in by telling you of your exclusivity and how their research has resulted in your selection. Then, they tell you that you have to pay certain membership fees to be on their list and have access to their database. It is absolutely repugnant.

    November 28, 2009 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  10. greenpa

    I'm delighted to see the Republicans are still using the great tricks they learned under Tom "The Hammer" Delay. Remember him? No, not the dancer, the thug thrown out of Congress for corruption.

    For several years I too was "Entrepreneur of the Year!" You get to come and meet the Fat Cats! (yes, they actually said that). "We want your advice!" Just send us a check. "You'll get a photo of GW on the plane after 9/11!!"

    When I asked if I'd still get the "award", and the invites to hang out if I didn't send a check – they just hung up on me. Immediately.

    And this was when Delay was in Congress.

    What a stench in the nostrils of our Forefathers.

    November 28, 2009 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  11. The Crypticum Keeper

    Gop blathered, "Maybe next time she gets an invite she might want to check into it a bit more to be sure it is not a mistake"

    Did you bother actually reading the story? Newt's organization obviously accepted her $5000– it was not until they began processing the RSVP that they realized they had made a "mistake" in extending an invitation to a topless club owner.

    And it's not incumbent on the recipient to do their homework for them, bubba.

    You might want to check your own Kool-Aid.

    November 28, 2009 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  12. max stalnaker

    smut and obscenity

    Someone characterized the lodge as filled with smut and obscenity, and I was sort of interested if this was true. So I googled a bit.

    smut: pornographic or obscene. I suspect the first word refers to images

    obscene: more complicated

    legally, in the US it seems to refer to public sex acts. Then again there is the community standards treatment. looking further at that, i guess the writer thinks female breasts are disgusting. For some reason, I think the writer is female, so I wonder about her self-image.

    debasement is more interesting. I take a very general view of that and so I probably agree. But even with a narrow view, there are quite a number of jobs that are debasing, and also pay a lot less than a topless club. I think the writer would do better to be a little more general in her concerns.

    And then we seem to be in a depression. A lot of people consider themselves to be lucky to have a job, any job. Maybe that is something the writer should work on.

    A local note: in my state public nudity seems to be pretty much legal. We do not have many problems as a result.

    November 28, 2009 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  13. Dick

    This has a good outcome. I have always liked dogs better then Newt.

    November 28, 2009 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  14. Robyn

    Come on, Newt has probably contributed way more than $5,000 to topless ladies of the evening, (or afternoon, or mid-morning, or tea time) over the years. Maybe he is just trying to recoup his losses after the ladies thought he was short selling.

    November 28, 2009 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  15. tony

    Would they also be providing free "Newt"ering for the dogs?

    November 28, 2009 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  16. Dembiciles rule here

    Didn't post my prior one from moderation ehh? CNN THIS IS TO YOU.
    The White House declares FOX isn't a News Organization? Fox airs all comments. You shall reap the wind when Liberals Policies run UNEMPLOYMENT up to 13% by the 2010 Election. And a few of us will make you own it. I'll be slipping them in every chance I get. The way you try to make your Liberal bedwetters representative of the American Politerai is despicable. I and others will be working for your absolute DEMOLITION in ratings, God Save Rupert Murdoch, Dish and DirecTV, and we'll see where you end up.

    November 28, 2009 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  17. kuratali


    The onus is not on the person receiving the invite, but rather the one sending the invite. Marketing company or Newt himself, better vetting should have taken place. The Lodge owner comes out on top here. The marketing company hired by Newt is an extension of Newt. No left wing conspiracy here, the kick in the rear is Newt's and Newt's alone.


    November 28, 2009 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  18. John

    Well I think Dawn has done more good for the country with her donations that the newt ever did in his disastrous time in congress.

    November 28, 2009 08:25 pm at 8:25 pm |
  19. d

    I think it was a very good thing. I dont know why you all want to turn it political.There is no good politician. They have all messed this country up. From democrat to Republican. They all overspend on something. The democrats with more big ticket items and the republicans with add ons, (which the democrats do as well). So lets just admire what she did instead. No politicians are worth bickering over.

    November 28, 2009 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  20. Keith A. Sillsbury

    This make perfect sense. The stripper community was bumped in lew of alter boys. Newt can't resist an alter boy.

    November 28, 2009 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  21. John

    Dawn should have named the club "Newt's little Nippers" for all the idiot students that thought the "professor" had a real answer to America's problems.

    What did we get with Newt? The start of the demolition of the middle class in America! Something like "the contract on America".

    November 28, 2009 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  22. andrew

    nothing on " Climate Gate " anywhere on your site CNN. Yeah your not biased.

    Your a joke of a news organization

    November 28, 2009 08:45 pm at 8:45 pm |
  23. 60's survivor

    another GOP in the dog house lol

    November 28, 2009 08:47 pm at 8:47 pm |
  24. jules sand-perkins

    Mr. Gingrich is a very honorable man. If this lady chose to honor him with a facility for dogs, it's still he who is being honored, not she.
    Gingrich is a fine example of a traditional Republican. He would be a good POTUS.

    As for the breeding of the Obamas' dog, AKC papers represent one of the President's finest decisions since he took the oath of office. It's a good thing that some of us still appreciate dogs of breeding, Debussy, and Beethoven.
    That said, we all know in our hearts that serious music may not be long for this world–especially in the USA, with our drums and "boxes"–so what does it matter if the best dogs are sacrificed to genocide to stamp out elitism?
    President Obama, you chose a MAGNIFICENT dog!

    November 28, 2009 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  25. Hennessy Black Racine, WI

    Newt bad manners?

    Hey, get a clue... he is, after all, a REPUBLICON... the NATIONAL disgrace for BAD MANNERS...

    November 28, 2009 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
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