November 28th, 2009
04:06 PM ET
13 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by a marketing company working for American Solutions that the invite had been mistakenly extended, and was being rescinded.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. Tony in Maine

    This is way too easy.

    But I'll do it anyhow.

    Do you suppose they have a cage for Newt?

    November 28, 2009 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  2. Right wingnuts are the darlings of dementia

    You would think that Newt would know that there is more to vetting his award recipients than cashing the $5000 check. Although, Dawn does appear to have the qualifications to be Newt's running mate.

    November 28, 2009 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  3. Sniffit

    more proof of the hypocrasy of the GOP

    November 28, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  4. Colleen in WA

    Dawn should be SURE to have the rescue shelter include the advice: "Have your pets spayed and NEWTered".

    November 28, 2009 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  5. mjm

    Alls well that ends well.

    This was a case of mistaken identity. Dawn was not the Entrepreneur of the Year. That's why she was uninvited.

    And she wasn’t receiving $5000, it was a $5000 plate dinner. Obama has them all the time, only it more like $25k/plate….and more strippers

    November 28, 2009 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  6. Death Panel Sarah

    I suppose anyone can make a mistake, but it always seems the 'con's have their fingers in the cookie jar.
    Newt tries to play the loyal reptili'con' role, but in his 'off time'.......

    November 28, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  7. alan

    even easier: Spay or Newter?

    November 28, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  8. W Spivey

    You got Newt-ed by the Re-Pugs. Thanks for the Dog money.

    November 28, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  9. lance corporal

    republicans are such prudes!! I don't go to strip clubs or topless bars or the like (more because I dislike drunks than I have a problem with uncovered breasts....)but I have no problem that they exist for others and certainly don't have anything against those who work at them, this woman is a successful small business owner, what's the problem?? an jeez do we really have to review some of gingrichs less moral choices in life???
    running off on your dieing wife is a DEFINING choice, like soooo many repubs gingrich is an ACTOR and the fact that he has no manners or care for how he treats others on the way to getting what HE wants should surprise no one, people stop looking at these radical rightists theu your rose colored glasses, wake up to how scary these self serving liars are

    November 28, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  10. CRV

    I hope the dogs will either be spayed or NEWTERED...

    November 28, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  11. Dave

    If it were to meet the president at the white house dinner, you do not even need an invitation.
    Good cause, anyway! And good publicity to a politician on the conservative side!

    November 28, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  12. Economist

    If only all political donations went to such good causes.

    November 28, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  13. Republican scam

    This is a Republican fundraising scam. I received the same "business of the year honor"... as it turns out if only I paid money.

    They call you with the news that you have been selected, and would like to invite you to a "presidential award banquet" to present you with the award. Then they slide in the donation requirement after getting you enamored of the honor.

    Republican's are now no different from a cold call nigerian scam.

    November 28, 2009 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  14. Steve (the real one)

    Good for them to make something positive out of a negative. A lesson for us all!

    November 28, 2009 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  15. Canaman

    That's called "rewarding good costumers".

    November 28, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  16. diridi

    it is a shame to dog shelter to compare Gingrich...he is worst than that...all these GOP guys who messed our nation...fiscally....

    November 28, 2009 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  17. Lee

    Maybe they need to have him "newt"ered.

    November 28, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  18. Another Reformed Republican

    What a tribute to the lizard! What does this say about the Newt's forge ahead at all costs and count the bodies later?

    When Newt had the chance to be a positive force in American politics, he screwed it up. Do you want to give this loser another chance to screw up worse that he did before?

    November 28, 2009 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  19. LouieD

    Ironic that she named a dog shelter after Gingrich, seeing as how he's not even qualified to be dog catcher.

    November 28, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  20. Gingrich 2012 !!

    This is a good shelter, and a great cause. I'm sure Newt is honored, as anyone would be. While the Obamas set a disappointing example by acquiring an expensive fashionable dog, Newt's Nook will help to adopt out dogs who would otherwise have no home at all. I wish the Obamas had done something like this, but they didn't.

    November 28, 2009 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  21. ThinkAgain

    I'm sure the Newt group will do a better job of begging ... er, vetting next time they select an Entrepreneur of the Year Award recipient.

    Good to hear something positive came out of this sleazy affair.

    November 28, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  22. Aspen Professor

    Ya gotta love people with a sense of humor! And, ya gotta wonder if Newt or any other Republican right-wing extemist has an equal sense of humor. Based on their performance over the past year, I doubt it.

    November 28, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  23. Mark

    There are a lot of out-of-control strays out there that need to be put in these kennels with names like Cheney, Rush and Sarah.

    November 28, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  24. Independent

    That's funny....I love it....

    November 28, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  25. elbon55

    A more worthy donation would be to a wrecking company who could then dismantle the :"Lodge". Are you kidding me, that somehow smut and debasement of women is respectable?

    November 28, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
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