DALLAS—Dawn Rizos, owner of Dallas topless club The Lodge, was apparently so taken by the fact that Newt Gingrich’s American Solutions group had chosen to honor her as an “Entrepreneur of the Year”—complete with an invitation to dine with Newt at the Capitol Hill club next week—that she shot off the $5,000 the group needed to confirm her participation.
Rizos also booked and paid for her trip to Washington, D.C., anticipating a special evening and a very unique experience.
But we know how this story ends because it isn’t the first time it’s happened. Tuesday, Rizos got the news from a marketing company hired by American Solutions. There had been a mistake; the invitation had been proffered in error and had to be rescinded. Everyone was terribly sorry.
Now Rizos knows how Allison Vivas of Pink Visual feels. Vivas got a nearly identical handwritten invitation, and a nearly identical brush-off, almost as if it were happening on purpose.
But of course it isn’t being done on purpose. Instead, what we are seeing is the apex of incompetent national fundraising. Cast as wide a net as possible and you’re bound to catch a few legitimate “Entrepreneurs of the Year.” Who’s going to notice if you have to throw a few porners back into the ocean.
According to CNN, a Lodge spokesperson, Michael Precker, said he was told “the invitation had been intended for another company with the same name—DCG—as the club's corporate parent. He also says he was told the full $5,000, and the non-refundable travel expenses incurred, would be returned — ‘so I guess they really don't want us around.’ No funds have yet been received, he said.”
However, an American Solutions spokesman said Tuesday that the notice Dawn Rizos received "was sent at the same time as the other [Vivas] mistake for the same reason," an explanation that doesn’t quite line up with the one given Precker.
The plot thickens and threatens to solidify into solid waste.