The teachers’ union’s political action committee, United for the Future, has released its first television ad touting the union’s chosen mayoral candidate: Bill Thompson.
The ad, entitled “Forgotten,” is clearly meant to appeal to black and Latino voters, touting the former comptroller as the only candidate who will stand up for the sea of diverse faces featured in the slickly-produced 30-second spot.
The battle between Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the powerful teachers’ union entered a ghoulish new phase on Monday, as the mayor equated the union’s coveted endorsement to the “kiss of death,” and the union slammed a nod from Mr. Bloomberg as worse than a zombie attack.
The Democratic candidates for mayor have been courting the United Federation of Teachers and the union’s president, Michael Mulgrew, for months, but Mr. Bloomberg said this afternoon he thinks they’re making a grave electoral mistake.
“It’s almost a kiss of death,” the mayor said of the union’s coveted endorsement, which Mr. Mulgrew believes will be decisive in the race. “I don’t know what goes through voters’ minds, but maybe they understand if the UFT wants it, it ain’t good and you don’t want that person.”
On John Gambling’s radio show this morning, Mayor Michael Bloomberg was asked about the New York Daily News report on teachers accused of sexual misconduct being able to keep their jobs and had rather blunt words to describe the situation, suggesting if a teacher “were a serial ax murderer, you might get a slap on the wrist.”
A Quinnipiac University poll released today is sure to turn some heads in the education debate as it found New York State voters trust Governor Andrew Cuomo more than the teachers’ union by a 50% to 38% margin “to protect the interests of New York State public school students.” This all comes as the state is in last-minute negotiations over teacher evaluations.
“The teachers’ union is a political punching bag these days, and New York voters share that negative view,” Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said in the press release. ”Support for the union isn’t high even in union households.”