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by a marketing company working for American Solutions that the invite had been mistakenly extended, and was being rescinded.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. gary davis Harbor Oregon proud american

    NEWT GOING TO THE DOGS ? LOL way to go . better to give the money to something worth giving too than too such a horse's ass like Gingrich, makes my day again LOL LOL LOL ๐Ÿ™‚

    November 28, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  2. Josh

    Will they offer free Newtering?

    November 28, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  3. Jason B.

    "Congratulations! You're winning an Entrepreneur of the Year Award. You can collect it as soon as you pay us the 5 grand for it."

    Still seems like there's something terribly wrong about that.

    November 28, 2009 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  4. Georgette

    Great story about a bunch of boobs.

    November 28, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  5. SD Kevin

    I think Dawn put her money to MUCH better use than giving it to Newt Gingrich's PAC. Good for her. It's nice to see an "Entrepreneur" doing good works unlike the rest of the Republican scum-bags who buy their 15th car, 18th home, or 13th boat.

    November 28, 2009 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  6. Ultimate Heretic

    Wow! Newt outclassed by a stripper! Shows the proper position of politicians in society.

    November 28, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  7. Fred, CA

    It wouldn't be the first time Newt threw someone under the bus. Remember the wife he left, who had cancer. Remember the entire federal government, when he shut it down and thousands were not able to work, because he couldn't talk to Clinton on Air Force One.

    November 28, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  8. Reagan was wrong

    I love dogs, and as much as I appreciate all efforts to save all animals without homes, I cannot help but think of how much the policies advocated in the past by Newt and his Republicans have directly contributed to the current glut of pets at animal shelters.

    The shelter I volunteer at is overcrowded and has been so for over a year. People still have to give up their pets because they've lost their homes or they can no longer afford to care for an animal as well as for themselves.

    November 28, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  9. John

    Fun to watch all potential GOP contenderes for 2012 undoing themselves.

    November 28, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  10. Dreadest

    That's awesome!! What a perfect response to the situation. A very positive and helpful way to deal with the situation : ) Whatcha got to say now Newt???

    November 28, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  11. Richard Posner

    I just love conservative politicians...they have no compunctions about charging people money for an 'award' from themselves.
    Hey Dawn, give me $5K and I'll name you Woman of Year.

    November 28, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  12. Paco

    Ha! Good show, Tony.

    And how about a muzzle?

    November 28, 2009 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  13. Shooter McGavin

    Topless dancers vote too, Newt. So do the club owners, and the patrons. But then again, most of your constituents are seem to be bigger fans of hookers than of strippers, so I see where you're coming from.

    Besides, homeless pets need help far more than Gingrich does. I'd rather hug a puppy than a politician.

    November 28, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  14. Pat in IL

    MUCH more appropriate use of the money! I'm not a dog lover (cats are my thing), but at least dogs aren't hypocritical and don't lie, and aren't completely self-serving (that would be cats and Newt).

    Cnn, this is just more "silly news". Please save the Ticker for real news items.

    November 28, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  15. JimZ1

    Reality is WAY better than fiction.

    November 28, 2009 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  16. Gop

    For one why would she hold a grudge against Newt when it was not him personally sending her an invite but some marking company working for him that made the mistake?

    I think itโ€™s great that she used the money to help animals. But to make this story sound like it was a bit of a slap at Newt is just silly.

    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.

    November 28, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  17. Gop

    Lef twingnuts suck down way too much Liberal Cool-aid and are Mentally ill.

    November 28, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  18. Lee

    Typical of Gingrich's stunts and stupidity for quite a few years now. And this man calls himself fit for office. The club owner was able to respond honerably and is the only one here that deserves any respect. At all.

    November 28, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  19. Gary

    Maybe Newt and Sarah can run for President and Vice President of Newts Nook. Thats about all they're qualified for.

    November 28, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  20. Jason

    She turned me into a newt!....I got better.

    November 28, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  21. Party Purity will never bring Political Power!

    Newts are animals, they need love too!

    November 28, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  22. CNN! The worthless name in news

    Of course, CNN is really having to dig if this is all they can come up with to slam the GOP.

    November 28, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  23. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    I guess this is just Chapter 1 of the real story between Rizo and Newt. I'm waiting for Chapter 2.

    November 28, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  24. Newt's Responsiblity

    "For one why would she hold a grudge against Newt when it was not him personally sending her an invite but some marking company working for him that made the mistake?"

    Hey, guess what "Gop"? Newt (the most apt name I could ever think of for a politician - a slimy little salamander) is 100% responsible for who he hires, who runs his bogus fundraisers, and everything else associated with his name. I'd rather donate money to Dawn's animal shelter that I would to anything remotely connected to Gingrich.

    November 28, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  25. Helene

    Palin comes to mind ...

    November 28, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
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