In one of the longest-running Capitol traditions, the well-known lobbying and law firm of Brown Rudnick will be holding its annual “Red Wine Night” on Thursday in Hartford.
The night began with humble roots in the House Democratic caucus room on the second floor when Hartford’s Thomas D. Ritter was serving as House Speaker in the early 1990s.
Today, Ritter is a partner at Brown Rudnick, and the wine night has exploded in popularity and has become a tradition on the Capitol calendar.
The official legislative bulletin provides the details on the evening.
In very precise legal language that cites the Connecticut General Statutes, the announcement of the event states, “Red Wine Night is permissible under Connecticut ethics laws as a ‘legislative reception’ pursuant to C.G.S. Section 1-91 subsection (g) (10), and pursuant to C.G.S. Section 1-96d, the sponsors do not reasonably expect this event to be reportable pursuant to subsection (e) of section 1-96.”
The event dates all the way back to the days when Ritter was the House Speaker for six years in the early to mid-1990s. Today, Brown Rudnick is known on both sides of the aisle as House Republican leader Larry Cafero of Norwalk is a contract partner at the law firm.
The wine will be poured at 6 p.m. Thursday at the Bond Ballroom on Asylum Avenue near the state Capitol. The event is held down the street from Hartford restaurants where some partygoers head to after the wine night.