Steinberg put out a memo to colleagues over the weekend explaining it all. The billboard, which is directed at him and says: "Stop the blame, stop the cuts."
The CTA has clashed with some Democrats over legislative proposals to give parents more power to fire teachers to appeal to Obama Administration and its Race to the Top federal money. Relations are strained over bills to alter teacher seniority rules also.
"CTA's Joe Nunez (of the union's governmental relations) called me last night to tell me they were going to begin an attack on me in my district via mail and billboards," Steinberg told colleagues.
"He said I have not been sufficiently supportive of their own our way is the best way approach to dealing with the Obama administration and other issues related to high
poverty schools," the memo continues.
"Given all our caucus has done to protect Proposition 98," Steinberg wrote, "the repayment of the 2.5 billion maintenance factor in the midyear budget and last
July, and our support of proposition 1B last year, I can only conclude that their action has more to do with their own re-elections and jobs than mine or yours. The fiscal crisis is obviously taking a toll on everyone."
Steinberg also wrote that he wished CTA would use its membership money to help Jerry Brown and to increase the Democrats' Senate majority.
He said he won't let the pressure campaign district from the "challenging tasks ahead."
"We will fight for education, for kids, to preserve the safety net, and to fix our broken system," he wrote.
On Monday Steinberg issued a statement in response to the billboard, which politely addresses the Senate leader as "Dear Senator Steinberg."
"Every day at the Capitol we hear from people what not to cut. Each of them makes a good case," the statement said. "We will continue to do the best we can with the resources available."
This post was updated at 1:46 p.m. with a statement from Steinberg.