I have my doubts that Shanker saw himself as a neo con but it would be valuable to learn more of his contacts with them and more importantly the CIA and other state agencies.
Kahlenberg was in a position to ferret this information out from the available records but he didn't even bother to conduct his own investigation. He specifically addresses the pamphlet written by George Schmidt in the 1980's and dismisses it saying that no evidence was offered to back up the charge that Shanker was working for the CIA. I guess it never occurred to Kahlenberg that the job of the historian is to dig out the information and not just present the official version based on facts handed to him by Shanker's acolytes.
But what difference does it make for the opposition if Shanker was a neo con or not? Whether he was working for the CIA or not? The relevant point in assessing the legacy of Shankerism in order to repudiate it is not Shanker's personal beliefs or his secret connections, but the program, the direction in which he lead the union. A democratic union is based on a programmatic unity, a common practice not a common ideology, religion, or other belief system.
You can't go around affixing brands on people and shunning them based on ideology. Debate yes, star chambers no.
Affixing an unpopular label to someone whose views you find abhorrent is not criticism, it's a smear. I know that Shanker did this to his opponents during the 68 strikes, calling them scabs and anti semites, gangsters, self hating jews, etc but it does not help the rank and file opposition to chart a new course for the UFT to respond with a "left" version of the smear.
"Love the sinner but hate the sin".
If we are ever to overcome the opportunism prevalent in the leadership and I would say much of the opposition as well we will have to recognize that the criticism of Shankerism is also a self criticism, in the sense that the program of Shankerism has prevailed among the membership not merely through his alignment with the oligarchy, the state apparatus or the neo con conspirators. The point is that neither he nor Feldman and Weingarten put forward a neo con program to the membership.
On the other hand, he would have followed their lead, as Randi did on the Kahlil Gibran School and as many democrats in the congress do when they caution against a hasty withdrawal, but then again, I saw plenty of folks waffling over this including members of ICE yet not one of them to my knowledge was a neo con.