As we wait for Blanche Lincoln and Joe Lieberman to dictate the details of the Senate “compromise,” Mike Stark of Stark Reports will be back up on the Hill for FDL, covering Congress.

Yesterday, Mike caught up with Keith Ellison, whose fiery House speech inspired our whip count effort. Remember his stirring words from the floor of the House in June?

I will not vote for any healthcare that does not include a public option. I will not do it, that’s a guaranteed no vote and I will not be dissuaded from that.

It was very inspirational to everyone. We hailed Ellison as a real leader, and over three thousand donors thanked him for his conviction.

Will Ellison stick by that promise? Well, we hope so. Mike put the question to him last night after the Democratic caucus meeting, and this was his response:

Rep. Ellison is certainly right, everyone needs to be doing their part, not just members of Congress. And the burden shouldn’t land solely on him. Health care frauds like Tammy Baldwin, from a perfectly safe Democratic district, who cosponsors H.R. 676, then disappears on the public option and votes for Anna Eshoo’s endless drug company monopolies, are the true problem. And we are recruiting true single payer candidates to run against members like her, to carry the message and make sure people in her district know they can count on her to stand up for health care only when it doesn’t matter.

Nonetheless, with the insurance companies crying “we win,” members of Congress are either going to give them what they want or stop the looting. We hope Keith Ellison will be there when it counts. We already know Tammy Baldwin won’t.

Keith Ellison’s phone: 612-522-1212 (MN), 202-225-4755 (DC)

Tammy Baldwin’s phone: (608) 258-9800 (WI), (202) 225-2906 (DC)