The Association to Preserve Cape Cod on Wednesday, June 30, filed a state public records request for all communications sent by the Joint Base Cape Cod executive director, Brigadier General Christopher Faux, to federal, state and local elected officials regarding the multi-purpose machine gun range proposed for the Upper Cape Water Supply Reserve on the base.
“General Faux’s recent threats to the Cape Cod business community raise valid questions about whether there are other, similar, communications to key policy makers that would further erode confidence in the legitimacy of the public process surrounding the machine gun range project,” said Andrew Gottlieb, APCC’s executive director.
Earlier this month, Gen. Faux sent an email to the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce threatening to withdraw military support from area businesses if the business community did not come out in support of the machine gun range.
“APCC views threats made by public servants to punish people for their views and concerns to be highly inappropriate,” Mr. Gottlieb said. “The public deserves to know if there were other threats made to government officials by the Guard’s representatives. The public must have confidence that officials elected by us are free to act in the best interests of their constituents without fear of reprisal from the National Guard.”
The public records request filed by APCC seeks “All documents, including, but not limited to, e-mails and letters relating to the proposed Joint Base Cape Cod Multi-Purpose Machine Gun Range sent by Brigadier General Christopher M. Faux to members of the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation, Massachusetts Constitutional Elected Officials, and Cape Cod municipal and county elected officials including, but not limited to, the following persons: Senator Elizabeth A. Warren, Senator Edward J. Markey, Representative Richard E. Neal, Representative James P. McGovern, Representative Lori Ann L. Trahan, Representative Jacob D. Auchincloss, Representative Katherine M. Clark, Representative Seth W. Moulton, Representative Ayanna S. Pressley, Representative Stephen F. Lynch, Representative William R. Keating, Governor Charles D. Baker Jr., Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito, Attorney General Maura Healey, and Commonwealth Secretary William F. Galvin.”
APCC filed a public records request to the Guard earlier this year to obtain public comments on the proposed project submitted during the public comment period last year. That request revealed the Guard received 367 comments, of which 330 were opposed to the machine gun range. Nine comments were in support of the project. In his email to the chamber of commerce, Gen. Faux called critics of the range “naysayers, activists and anti-military groups.”
“General Faux’s characterization of the public’s comments is further proof of the dismissive review of the legitimate concerns of Cape Cod citizens in this process, and underscores the need to bring any discussions by the Guard with our elected officials into the full light of day,” Mr. Gottlieb said.
The machine gun range project calls for clear-cutting 170.5 acres of forest and disturbing 200 acres of land on the Upper Cape Water Supply Reserve, with an additional 5,000 acres of the reserve targeted as a Surface Danger Zone where projectiles could land.