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, reports the New York Times. 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 at 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…

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staff and wire services reports