Mayor Counters Teachers’ Ads With His Own (NY)
March 30, 2011
After being pilloried for weeks in advertisements from the city’s teachers’ union accusing him of threatening to fire teachers, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg hit back on Tuesday by using a familiar tactic: paying for his own campaign-style advertisement.
The ad war comes at a time when Mr. Bloomberg and the United Federation of Teachers have been sparring over the mayor’s bid to upend state rules on teacher seniority. Both sides are gearing up for fights over budgets proposed by Mr. Bloomberg and Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.
But where the teachers’ union has aimed squarely a t Mr. Bloomberg — one ad even belittles the mayor’s performance during the December blizzard — Mr. Bloomberg’s ad features the kind of upbeat music and imagery one would normally expect from a political front-runner. The union is not mentioned by name.
“On education, Albany’s budget cuts threaten teacher layoffs,” says the ad, which was first broadcast on NY1 on Tuesday night. “Bloomberg is working for reforms that help keep the best teachers in the classroom educating our kids. Independence, not for the special interests, but for all New Yorkers.”
In a statement, Michael Mulgrew, the teachers’ union president, dismissed the ad as an attempt to bolster Mr. Bloomberg’s sagging poll numbers.
It is the first time that the mayor has personally paid for a commercial related to a policy or budget issue, said Howard Wolfson, a deputy mayor.