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Anti-LGBTQ+ school board activists accused of influencing a minor to commit fraud on camera

Vishal P. Singh

OUSD Recall, a parent-led and teacher supported recall movement against right-wing Orange County Unified School District board members, released a statement today regarding two anti-LGBTQ+ school board activists in Southern California: Frank Rodriguez and Leandra Blades. According to the statement:

"Members of the Orange Unified Recall have filed a felony criminal complaint against Frank Rodriguez and Leandra Blades for conspiring to direct a minor (the child of Leandra Blades) to commit a fraud by knowingly and intentionally signing a fake name and address to a recall petition. This occurred at the Orange International Street Fair when Blades' son approached the OUSD Recall boothfalsely claimed to be an OUSD voter and asked to sign the petitions. Recall volunteers noticed the signer then immediately go stand and begin to film with Rodriguez, a social media agitator, and Placentia Yorba Linda USD school board member Leandra Blades, a known ally of Ms. Miner, Recall proponents let the group know it was a crime to knowingly falsely sign the petitions. After Mr. Rodriguez was removed by the police for harassment, Blades and her son immediately requested the name he signed to be removed, which it was. It appears this conspiracy to commit a felony was a misguided attempt at a "gotcha" moment, Rodriguez' stock in trade.

Footage uploaded by OUSD Recall and Frank Rodriguez himself seems to corroborate these claims. Frank Rodriguez is a career political provocateur and the former Executive Director of the far-right anti-LGBTQ+ organization Gays Against Groomers. Leandra Blades is a Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified school board member who attended Donald Trump's January 6th rally that preceded the Capitol riot and insurrection. Like so many fellow Trump supporters who were in D.C. on January 6th: Blades has pivoted to activism in the burgeoning anti-LGBTQ+ extremism scene targeting school boards. According to OUSD Recall, the duo conspired to direct Blades' child, a minor, to commit fraud for the sake of a political social media stunt during a street fair where all parties were present. After getting caught in the act, local police reportedly removed Rodriguez from the scene— who would still go on to upload the edited video produced from their scheme. Rodriguez and Blades "apparently did not know or did not care, until they were caught, that their acts were criminal and interfered with the rights of voters to recall elected officials they believe have violated their oath of office" according to GUSD Recall. Rodriguez and Blades have yet to make their own statements, and the Twitter/X profile for Blades is currently set to private.


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