McEntee, who has strongly endorsed Saunders, defends his own tenure as having built the strongest grass-roots operation in American labor.
"We worked our hearts out on the 2010 elections," McEntee said when asked if the union could have done more to prepare for the onslaught of anti-union measures in Wisconsin and other states. "Anyone who indulges in Monday morning quarterbacking on the 2010 elections is delusional."
And Saunders says he never heard Donohue complain about AFSCME's political strategy until he recently made it an issue in his bid for the union presidency.
Donohue has also criticized what he considers exorbitant spending and lavish salaries for the union's top leaders. McEntee earned a base salary of $387,671 in 2011. Donohue has pledged to slash that by $100,000 if he wins. Donohue currently earns about $200,000. Saunders' salary is $310,137.
The election is a rematch between the two candidates. Saunders narrowly defeated Donohue in a 2010 race to become secretary-treasurer. Before that, Saunders was McEntee's executive assistant in charge of running the union's political operation. He began his career with AFSCME in 1978 as a labor economist.
Donohue has been president of the New York State Civil Service Employees Association since 1994 and has been with the union since 1975.
Follow Sam Hananel's labor coverage on Twitter at http://twitter.com/SamHananelAP
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.