At last, a Texas story from the Republican presidential campaign trail that’s not about Rick Perry or Ron Paul.

Tim Murphy of Mother Jones writes a feature called “Your Daily Newt,” and Wednesday he revisited 2009, when Gingrich’s 527 PAC, American Solutions for Winning the Future, tried to “honor” (i.e. hit up for some money) Dallasite Dawn Rizos, owner of the city’s upscale and employee-friendly topless club the Lodge.

For just $5,000, Rizos was to be named one of the organizations “Entrepeneurs of the Year,” given “in recognition of the risks you take to create jobs and stimulate the economy.” (Nice choice of words.) 

But soon after Rizos wrote the check and got on board, Gingrich’s organization figured out just what kind of entrepeneur she was, and rescinded the honor.

Murphy dug up this story because he noticed Gingrich had begun a website called “Pets With Newt,” which encourages supporters to send in pictures with their favorite animals. Coincidentally, this ties in nicely with what Rizos chose to do with her $5,000 once American Solutions for a Winning Future sent it back.

As Murphy writes, “She built a shelter for pit bulls, ‘Newt’s Nook,’ at the Animal Guardian sanctuary 35 minutes north of Dallas.” 

John Woestendiek of the blog Ohmidog noted that Rizos and the Lodge have a longstanding commitment to animal welfare. The club’s car washes and other fundraisers have reportedly generated more than $200,000 for local animal causes, and the Lodge’s manager of VIP services, Sunny Hunter, adopted one of the dogs that formerly belonged to NFL quarterback and convicted animal abuser Michael Vick.

Murphy suggests that Gingrich might want to include “Newt’s Nook” on his new website—or perhaps Rizos could just quietly submit some dog photos to the “Pets with Newt.” We’d love to see what she comes up with for “a sentence or two about what you like about Newt.”