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PORTLAND, Ore. (Portland Tribune) — The family feud ensnaring Oregon Congressman Kurt Schrader is heading back to the courthouse.
The Canby Democrat, who has represented Oregon’s 5th District since 2009, has been sued once again by his brother, Mark Schrader. This time, the dispute is over access to genealogy records stored in the family’s $3 million vacation home on Long Island, New York.
As Pamplin Media Group previously revealed, the congressman’s brother and his niece, college student Sophia Lisa Schrader, went to court to sell the manse last May, arguing in a lawsuit that the property was no longer turning a profit as a rental — and was only used by the elected official, anyhow.
The vacation home’s controlling company had depleted its funds from $775,000 to $540,000, per court papers, but the congressman’s lawyer Kenneth Childs argued this was primarily due to stock market fluctuations and loan repayment to the two brothers, and that the rental and investment income was still turning a small profit despite yearly operating expenses of $50,000.
Another factor in the dispute: Rep. Schrader had allegedly authorized spending $23,000 to repair the roof and had hired a pool service, against Mark’s wishes.
“I have turned down several families that have wanted to rent the place (which would really help the financial stability of the LLC) as per your request. Again a request that is irresponsible,” Kurt, 70, wrote to his younger brother. “I do not intend to argue with you. You are intent on destroying the property and LLC. I will not be complicit.”
Last November, Judge Angela Franco Lucero found that Mark and Sophia, both of Arizona, had improperly attempted to remove Kurt as a company manager during a meeting they held without Kurt in attendance. The Arizona side of the family appealed the ruling, then quietly settled the case in January without disclosing terms.
Rep. Schrader’s family had previously discussed buying out Mark for $650,000, though that was before the litigation unfolded. It’s unclear if politics divided the family, though in one email Mark Schrader recalled attending a book signing for Donald Trump Jr. and joked he would get his brother an autographed copy.
The new suit, filed by Mark alone, says that he has sold his share of the family vacation home for an undisclosed amount, contingent on the congressman agreeing to professionally photocopy several books containing records of the family’s history.
Mark’s lawsuit says their father, Walter C.A. Schrader, asked his boys to complete the family tree prior to his death.
“I have recently uncovered new information on the Traviesas line and now have photos of their wholesale grocery store in Cuba,” Mark wrote to his brother in an email included in the suit filed Oct. 26 in Clackamas County Circuit Court.
Mark Schrader’s lawyer did not respond to requests for comment.
“Congressman Schrader’s office does not comment on his personal matters,” said spokeswoman Molly Prescott.
Jamie McLeod-Skinner, who previously ran for Congress in 2018 and Oregon Secretary of State in 2020, is currently mounting a primary challenge from the left against Schrader, whose district has been redrawn to contain more Democrats but now stretches over unfamiliar territory for the incumbent. The maps are facing legal challenges as well.