Now this is low, even for bare-knuckle politics.


That's how Chicago reporter Kristen McQueary described the ugly scene which emerged during a Nov. 14 town hall with Rep. Dan Lipinski.

Facing an audience stacked with Tea Party members, Lipinski introduced a family who believe they lost a daughter and unborn grandchild because the girl did not have health insurance. Dan and Midge Hough, of Chicago, said their daughter-in-law Jenny, 24, was not receiving basic prenatal care and fell ill with double pneumonia. She eventually developed septic shock and went into respiratory failure.

"Her baby died in the womb, and Jenny died a few weeks later, leaving behind a husband and a 2-year-old daughter," noted McQueary, writing for The South Town Star.

When Midge Hough took the stage to tell Jenny's tale, the Tea Party crowd began to jeer, mocking her story and accusing her of inventing the sad affair.

"She didn't have to die," Hough said. "The cost of that was $1.5 million, or just a little more than that. You guys are going to absorb the cost of that, is what I'm saying. That's what happens. It's not just Jennifer, it's all of the people that are out there that are sick and don't have insurance."

After another round of cackles from the audience, she retorted: "You can laugh at me. That's okay. I get it. I get it. But I lost two people. I know you think that's funny."

"Catherina Wojtowicz, of Chicago's Mount Greenwood community, an organizer for a Tea Party splinter group, Chicago Tea Party Patriots, falsely claimed that the Houghs fabricated their story," South Town added. "In an e-mail, she called them operatives of President Barack Obama who 'go from event to event and (cry) the same story.'"

The reporter characterized the event as "a low mark in a very dark week."

This video was published to YouTube by user dhough1976 on Thursday, Nov. 19, 2009.