TOPEKA, Kan. — A Kansas senator compared Planned Parenthood to a Nazi concentration camp after being told that a donation to the organization had been made in his name.

Sen. Steve Fitzgerald, a Leavenworth Republican, wrote to Planned Parenthood last week, saying “shame on anyone that would attempt to blacken my name in this manner.”

“This as bad, or worse, as having one’s name associated with Dachau,” he wrote in the letter.

Dachau was the first regular concentration camp created by the Nazis.

During an interview Monday morning, Fitzgerald stood by his comparison and the letter he sent to Planned Parenthood.

He called the donation and ensuing letter telling him about the donation “harassment” and “political theater.”

“I think the Nazis ought to be incensed by the comparison,” Fitzgerald said.

The letter became public last week after the twitter account @PPGreatPlainsKS tweeted out a photo of it.

Bonyen Lee-Gilmore, spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood Great Plains, said the letter has started a domino effect of other people making donations to Planned Parenthood in Fitzgerald’s name.

—The Kansas City Star


Tech billionaire Mark Cuban for president? He’s not ruling it out

AUSTIN, Texas — Will Texas billionaire Mark Cuban run for president?

During a talk at South by Southwest, the judge of the reality show “Shark Tank” didn’t rule out a 2020 race for the White House.

“I’ve got a lot of time to decide, and we’ll see what happens,” he told the crowd.

Cuban’s topic was government and tech disruption, and he spent plenty of time taking on President Donald Trump and his policies.

“Disruptors are everything,” Cuban said. “Having a unique idea and taking it through fruition is always hard. Now that we don’t have an administration that’s particularly tech literate, it’s going to be a little more difficult.”

Cuban compared Trump to the narcissistic movie character Zoolander played by Ben Stiller, and accused the president of not being tech savvy.

“He doesn’t use Google,” Cuban said. “Just think if your president was willing to take time to learn how to use a search engine.”

Cuban, who called himself a libertarian, spoke on a panel alongside Adam Lyons, co-founder of car insurance marketplace The Zebra, which is based in Austin. Lyons landed Cuban as an investor in the company after cold emailing him a one paragraph pitch.

—Austin American-Statesman


Sheriff investigating possible vandalism at Trump golf course in California

LOS ANGELES — Sheriff’s officials were investigating possible vandalism early Sunday at President Donald Trump’s golf course in Rancho Palos Verdes, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Video footage posted by The Washington Post appeared to show at least four individuals in dark clothing using gardening tools to carve letters into the green at Trump National Golf Club to spell out: “NO MORE TIGERS, NO MORE WOODS.”

Sgt. Thomas Anderson of the Sheriff’s Department said authorities received a call about 8:30 a.m. about possible vandalism at the golf course. The initial caller canceled the call for service before deputies arrived at the scene, he said.

Anderson said the department was investigating the incident but had not yet determined whether it was an act of vandalism or something else.

The Post said it received the video from an anonymous collective of environmental activists who said they were protesting the president’s “blatant disregard” for the environment.

—Los Angeles Times


Fewer Central Americans enter Mexico in a sign of Trump’s influence on immigration

WASHINGTON — The number of Central American migrants stopped by Mexican officials at their southern border fell significantly in two recent months, likely foreshadowing a similar drop at the U.S. border.

About 285 people a day were stopped entering Mexico from Guatemala in December and January, according statistics from the Mexican government, a 20 percent drop from the comparable months a year earlier.

President Donald Trump took office Jan. 20 after a raucous campaign in which he made combating illegal immigration a centerpiece. Once sworn in, Trump signed several executive orders to make it more difficult to enter the country illegally or to win asylum, and easier to deport those who are already here. Last week, his administration threatened to separate children from their parents after being apprehended at the border.

Amy Fischer, the policy director for the Texas-based Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services, said it was too early to know precisely why detentions were down in Mexico and along the U.S. border, where the Department of Homeland Security reported a 36 percent drop in February detentions. “Maybe they’re not coming” because of reports that families might be separated, she said. “Maybe they’re going somewhere else. And maybe they’re in wait-and-see mode to see how long they can hold out without coming.”

The December and January drop in Mexican detentions was not reflected in those at the U.S. border, but the decline in February and a 40 percent drop in detentions at the U.S. border from January to February likely reflected the time it takes for a Central American migrant to travel through Mexico and reach the United States.

The drop in detentions also has meant fewer migrant mothers and children are being held in family detention centers.

—McClatchy Washington Bureau

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