Gingrich Asks Topless Club Owner For Money — After Snubbing Her Last Year

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As we reported, Newt Gingrich’s 527 Group named Dawn Rizos — owner of The Lodge, a gentleman’s club in Dallas — an “Entrepreneur of the Year” in 2009, and invited her to a private dinner in D.C. But once Gingrich found out her business was a topless club, he stripped her of the award, and returned her $5,000 contribution.

But it appears Gingrich is ready to move on — and is now happy to take her money. In an American Solutions mailer, Gingrich asked, “Will you enclose a special year-end contribution of $1,000, or even as much as $2,000, to American Solutions, Ms. Rizos?”Not so fast. In a letter to Gingrich last week, Rizos said she won’t donate any money until she and Gingrich have a chance to discuss what happened last year.

American Solutions did not respond to TPM’s requests for comment.

Club spokesman Mike Precker said it’s “ironic” that Gingrich sent a request for money after snubbing Rizos last year. But, he said they were pleasantly surprised to see the letter arrive. “As long as he keeps sending us appeals, we’ll keep responding,” he said.

While Rizos won’t give Gingrich money again just yet, she didn’t leave him entirely empty-handed. Included in her reply, she sent him a lifetime VIP membership to The Lodge, which Precker said is worth $2,000.

“We’d be very happily surprised” if he stops by, Precker told TPM.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

David Taintor is a news editor at Talking Points Memo. Previously, he worked at NBC News and Adweek. He’s a native of Minnesota. Reach him at taintor@talkingpointsmemo.com.

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