ALBANY — New York’s teachers have taken to the airwaves.
After staying relatively quiet following the release of Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s budget three weeks ago, the state’s largest public education union, New York State United Teachers, began a $1.1 million television advertising campaign on Tuesday that criticizes Mr. Cuomo’s proposed cuts to local school aid.
In keeping with the theme of budget-season advertising this year, the union’s new commercial does not focus on arguing against the cuts Mr. Cuomo is proposing or taking aim specifically at the governor, who is not mentioned by name in the 30-second spot. Instead, it focuses on Mr. Cuomo’s preference not to extend a tax surcharge on high-income New Yorkers.
The advertisement shows a Wall Street tycoon sitting behind a fancy desk. “Look, the current market environment demands massive budget cuts, tax breaks and subsidies for the rich and powerful, and, yes, some sacrifices from people like you,” he says. “Is that so hard to understand?”
Then the camera cuts to the businessman’s previously unseen audience: two wide-eyed children, seated in a wingback chair opposite him.
“Have you ever noticed, in tough times, who’s asked to make sacrifices and who isn’t?” a narrator proceeds to ask, adding: “Don’t sacrifice their education for tax breaks for millionaires.”
The ad is scheduled to run in markets around the state until at least March 3. It is not the union’s only advertising foray this winter: earlier in the month, the union started a satirical news Web site warning of terrors that would ensue from the passage of a cap on local property taxes, a measure that Mr. Cuomo has championed.
Mr. Cuomo’s office did not offer a comment about the advertisement on Tuesday.