You can read the full release after the jump. In September, Newt Gingrich’s outfit Americans Solutions for Winning the Future gave Dawn Rizos, owner of the Lodge, an “Entrepreneur of the Year” award for all of Texas and invited her to a private dinner in Washington — which was apparently a mistake. Rizos even called to confirm the award, and she paid a requested $5,000 to join Americans Solutions for Winning the Future. Then someone in Gingrich’s camp realized what they’d done. Oops.
NEWT GINGRICH INVITES GENTLEMEN’S CLUB OWNER DAWN RIZOS TO PRIVATE AWARDS DINNER, THEN CHANGES MIND
DALLAS, TEXAS — After naming Lodge owner Dawn Rizos “Entrepreneur of the Year” and inviting her to a private dinner in Washington, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has rescinded the invitation.
“We’re very disappointed,” Ms. Rizos said. “We were very honored to receive this award and it’s really kind of rude for them to change their minds at the last minute.”
Ms. Rizos is owner and CEO of The Lodge, one of the nation’s premier gentlemen’s clubs, which has received many local and national honors over the years for its elegance, beauty, fine cuisine and integrity.
In early September she received a letter from Mr. Gingrich’s organization, Americans Solutions for Winning the Future, informing her she was being honored for “your success in building your business and recognition of the risks you take to create jobs and stimulate the economy.”
Ms. Rizos noted that The Lodge “helps hundreds of people support their families, further their educations and build successful futures, and we’re very proud of that.”
The honor was to be presented by Mr. Gingrich at a dinner on October 7 at the Capitol Hill Club in Washington. “It’s a very small intimate event…Newt is looking forward to hearing your ideas on getting the economy moving again and getting your feedback on his plans over dinner,” the invitation said.
When Ms. Rizos phoned to confirm her reservation, she was asked to join the organization and pay the $5,000 annual fee. She did, and received a letter from Mr. Gingrich thanking her and adding, “I look forward to meeting you and hearing more about your business.
On September 29, an organizer of the event contacted Ms. Rizos to inform her that a mistake had been made and that she was no longer welcome at the awards dinner. He said American Solutions intended to honor a company named DCG — which is The Lodge’s corporate parent — but sent the invitation to the wrong DCG. He added that Ms. Rizos’ success was admirable, and that perhaps she would be welcome at a future American Solutions event.
“I certainly hope so,” Ms. Rizos said. “We admire Newt Gingrich’s positions on personal responsibility, self-reliance, and, especially, the need to keep the government out of our private lives. We have a lot to talk about.”