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Gingrich group reverses course on giving award to topless bar

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Just kidding.

So says former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s conservative campaign group — which errantly named a Dallas “gentleman’s club” “Entrepreneur of the Year” last month.

Dawn Rizos told the Dallas Morning News she was “thrilled” by the announcement that her popular topless bar The Lodge had received top billing from the conservative Washington group, which had invited her to speak about best practices for small businesses. She was to be given the award Oct. 7.

“This is a very private dinner and I look forward to presenting you with your award,” Gingrich reportedly said in his invitation. “Your support and willingness to take a leadership role is greatly appreciated.”

Gingrich’s group, American Solutions for Winning the Future, thought The Lodge was a small business in Virginia. Instead of giving Rizos an award, he’s refunded her $5,000 donation to his campaign fund.

“It was disappointing,” Rizos told the News. “We were looking forward to sharing our political views with Newt Gingrich.” Among her views, she said, are less government regulation of small businesses — and Texans’ private lives.

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Neither Gingrich nor his group returned requests for comment from the paper on Wednesday.

Asked about the group’s excuse — that they thought it was a family-friendly business in Virginia, Rizos verbally shrugged.

“I’m not going to argue with them, if that’s their story,” Rizo remarked. “I think they should be a lot more careful and maybe Google the person they’re going to give an award to before they make all of their plans.”

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