Tag Archives: tom ritter

Ritter’s Brown Rudnick Pours Annual Red (And White)

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redwine1Thank heaven for people like former Democratic House Speaker Tom Ritter and state senator and House Republican leader Larry Cafero and the rest of the well-known lobbying and law firm, Brown Rudnick. Because otherwise, how would everyone who is anyone involved at the Capitol and beyond relax for a bit this time of year?

Legislators, lobbyists, politicians and businessmen and women took a break from session action Thursday to attend the law firm’s annual “Red Wine Night,” a “let your hair down” Capitol tradition that Ritter started when he was steering state house business at the Capitol 20 years ago.

“It did start in a room up there, just spontaneously, and then just kept growing,” said Ritter, also a UConn trustee, as he welcomed invited guests to the Bond Ballroom Thursday.

“It’s just a chance to see everyone, old members of the legislature, friends, I think it’s been 21 years now,”redwine2 said Ritter, still considered a political heavyweight in the arena. “There’s no ulterior motive, just a night to catch with everyone.”

And does the famed Mr. Ritter miss his days as a legislator in Hartford?

“No, I wouldn’t want be there now,” he said smiling. “I was there for many years and there comes a time when you step down and new people take over.”


Let The Brown Rudnick Wine Flow

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RITTER2 - Copy - CopyRITTER5One party was for a good cause and the other was “just because” but any way you pour the wine, the two downtown Hartford soirees attracted a festive crowd totaling about 1,000 people Thursday night.

Let’s start at the Bond Ballroom where Brown Rudnick LLP, and more specifically firm principal/lobbyist and former House Speaker Tom Ritter and camera-shy colleague and House Minority Leader Larry Cafero welcomed  about 500 Democrats, Republicans, clients, friends, relatives and assorted Hartford heavy hitters and hanger-on-ers to the firm’s annual “Red Wine Party.”

RITTER3The now mega-bash began as a little post-Lenten get-together more years ago than anyone seems to remember for sure, and over the decades has grown and grown catapulting it into an A-list  “must go to” this time of the year.

“I do remember when it was just a few people getting together at the old Chuck’s Steakhouse at the old Civic Center,” recalled Wells Fargo advisor Tom Hall, one of lots of Ritter’s friends who filled the ballroom. “It just kept growing,” he said as people jockeyed their way through the crowded space to either get a glass of wine or chit-chat with each other.

RITTER1 - Copy (2) - CopyThe crowd boasted a fair share of former legislators, including some who showed they still had that biting edge when it came to talking politics. Case in point, former Republican Senate minority leader, Lou DeLuca.

It is well-known that DeLuca, 79, who was forced to step down from office in 2007 after pleading guilty to a misdemeanor threatening charge, was never a big Edith Prague fan. To put it kindly, the two regularly scrapped when they served together in the Senate.  So his thoughts on the 88-year-old Democrat’s  new appointment as head of the state Commission on Aging?

“Mark my words,” said the 79-year-old DeLuca who has not let age affect his outspoken demeanor or his candid feelings about his former senate mate. “In three months, Malloy (Gov. Dannel P. Malloy) will rue the day he appointed her as Commissioner on Aging.”

Ritter Baby Cooperates, Arrives Ahead Of Grandpa’s Annual Bash

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ritterWhen former Democratic Speaker of the House and Brown Rudnick partner, Atty. Tom Ritter and his law firm host its grand “Red Wine Night” this week, Grandpa will be able to pay attention to his guests.

New grandson Jack has already arrived.

Jack Anson Ritter, son of Ritter’s son, Hartford State. Rep Matt Ritter and his wife Dr. Marilyn Katz, was born April 5, six days before the annual company bash.

Two years ago, it was a different story.

That’s when Tom Ritter was very pre-occupied at the annual post-Lenten party, choosing his cell phone over wine as he anxiously awaited word on the imminent arrival of his first grandchild, grandson Jake. Ritter’s daughter Jessica was in labor and Ritter left the hospital and ran over to the party while waiting for word from son-in-law Joe Schwartz on the baby.

But back to the new baby! Jack and family are home safe and sound, and according to the new grandfather, were settling in to watch the NCAA women’s basketball championship between Ritter’s  beloved UConn (he is a trustee)  and that other team.

“There’s something about these April babies,” said Ritter Tuesday as he and wife Judge Christine
Keller, relished being grandparents again.  “At least this year I won’t be going from the party to the hospital.”