John J. Horn
|Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Labor and Industry|
September 1976 (acting) / January 19, 1978 (confirmed) – January 25, 1982
|Preceded by||Joseph A. Hoffman|
|Succeeded by||Roger Bodman|
|Member of the New Jersey Senate|
from the 5th Legislative District
January 10, 1974 – September 22, 1976
|Preceded by||District created|
|Succeeded by||Angelo Errichetti|
|Member of the New Jersey General Assembly|
from the Legislative District 3D
January 9, 1968 – January 10, 1974
|Preceded by||District created|
|Succeeded by||District dissolved|
|Born||November 2, 1917|
Camden, New Jersey
|Died||January 6, 1999 (aged 81)|
Brick Township, New Jersey
|Spouse(s)||Frances P. Hartmann Horn|
|Residence||Seaside Park, New Jersey|
|Alma mater||Rutgers University–Camden|
John J. Horn (November 2, 1917 – January 6, 1999) was an American labor leader and Democratic Party politician. He served in both houses of the New Jersey Legislature, serving in the New Jersey General Assembly from 1968 to 1974 and in the New Jersey Senate from 1974 to 1976. He was then nominated by Governor of New Jersey Brendan Byrne to join his cabinet as commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Labor and Industry, a position he held from 1976 until 1982.
Horn was born in Philadelphia on November 2, 1917. Raised in Camden, New Jersey, he played football at Woodrow Wilson High School and went on to graduate from Rutgers University–Camden. He worked for Ruberoid Company in Camden to help pay for his college education and was named as shop steward based on his ability to build cooperative relations with both workers and company management. In 1971, the United Rubber Workers named him to serve as a regional director for the union.
After leaving office as Labor Commissioner in January 1982 when Thomas Kean took office as governor, Horn headed straight to Newark Airport for a flight to Florida and apparent retirement, having made arrangements to have a representative of his office retrieve his car from the parking lot.
A 20-year resident of Seaside Park, New Jersey, Horn died on January 6, 1999, at Ocean County Medical Center in Brick Township. He was survived by his two daughters, Lori and Sherry. He was predeceased by his wife, the former Frances P. Hartmann.
Horn served on the Board of Education of the Camden City School District for nine years starting in the 1950s, including two years in office as the board's president. He was a member of the Camden City Council in the 1960s.
Horn was elected in 1967 together with Republican Lee B. Laskin to serve in the New Jersey General Assembly to represent Legislative District 3D, one of four pairs of representatives from the 3rd Legislative District, which was further divided into four Assembly districts (Districts 3A, 3B, 3C, and 3D); District 3D included portions of Camden County. In the Assembly, Horn served as assistant minority leader during his first term in the Assembly and was Democratic leader in the 1972-73 session. Horn was re-elected to the Assembly in both 1969 and 1971, each time with Democratic running mate James Florio, who had served Horn as a legislative aide while he was still in law school.
In January 1969, Horn was one of three legislators who had been identified by officials in the office of the New Jersey Attorney General as being "too comfortable with members of organized crime"; Horn refused to comment on the allegations and said that he would demand a public hearing to address the charges. An informant alleged that Horn had met with a mobster and a representative of the county prosecutor's office in an effort to have charges against the mobster's brother dropped. He denied ever having met with the mobster and stated that "I know nothing about organized crime. All this must be a complete fantasy". The assembly's special investigation committee chastised two legislators, but found that there was no evidence to support the claims against Horn and three other elected officials.
Upon the creation of a 40-district legislative map in 1973 in response to the one-man-one-vote system mandated by the 1964 Supreme Court decision in Reynolds v. Sims, the new 5th Legislative District consisted of portions of Camden County, including the city of Camden and its suburbs. Horn was elected to the New Jersey Senate in the new district in the 1973 general election, defeating Republican Richard C. Hardenbergh by a 65%-35% margin, with running mates James Florio and Ernest F. Schuck winning the district's two General Assembly seats. He resigned from office on September 22, 1976, and was succeeded by Angelo Errichetti, who won a November 1976 special election, and was sworn in to take Horn's former Senate seat on November 8, 1976.
Governor Brendan Byrne nominated Horn to succeed Joseph A. Hoffman as head of the Department of Labor and Industry (since renamed as the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development). He served as commissioner on an acting basis starting in September 1976 and was commissioner from January 19, 1978, until January 25, 1982. In December 1976, Acting Commissioner Horn advocated on behalf of passage of a proposed Illegal Alien Employment Prohibition Act that was being considered by a committee in the New Jersey Senate under which fines would be imposed on companies that hired undocumented workers; Horn cited data showing that the state had 360,000 people out of work and an unemployment rate of 11.3% that was one of the nation's highest, while an estimate from the federal government's Immigration and Naturalization Service found that the state had 200,000 undocumented workers, and he stated that "the estimated number of illegal aliens holding jobs represent more than half of our total unemployed". Governor Byrne also supported the bill, saying that "must take every step possible to eliminate this situation that in the end, not one single worker in New Jersey is being deprived of employment by an illegal alien illegally holding a job".
- Gribbins, J. Joseph. Manual of the Legislature of New Jersey: 1976 edition", p. 216. J.A. Fitzgerald, 1976. Accessed October 6, 2016. "Senator Horn was born in Philadelphia, Pa., Nov. 2, 1917. He was educated at Woodrow Wilson High School, Camden, and South Jersey Extension, Rutgers University, Camden."
- Hagenmayer, S. Joseph. "John J. Horn, 81, Labor Activist, Former N.j. Government Official", The Philadelphia Inquirer, January 11, 1999. Accessed October 6, 2016. "Mr. Horn had lived in Seaside Park, Ocean County, for the last 20 years. Raised in Camden, he graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School, where he was an end on the football team. He also graduated from Rutgers University in Camden."
- Sullivan, Joseph F. "POLITICS; RETURNING TO PRIVATE LIFE: A JARRING TRIP", The New York Times, February 21, 1982. Accessed October 6, 2016. "John J. Horn, the retired labor official and longtime state legislator who was Mr. Byrne's Commissioner of Labor and Industry, made the most dramatic break. He drove his state car to Newark International Airport, telephoned his office to have someone pick it up and then flew to Florida. He may remain in retirement."
- New Jersey Senate and Assembly Districts for 1967 Election, New Jersey State Library. Accessed September 29, 2016. "Assembly District 3D shall include the following municipalities located in the county of Camden: borough of Audubon, borough of Audubon Park, city of Camden, and township of Haddon."
- Results of the General Election Held on November 7, 1967, Secretary of State of New Jersey. Accessed October 6, 2016.
- Results of the General Election Held on November 4, 1969, Secretary of State of New Jersey. Accessed October 6, 2016.
- Results of the General Election Held on November 2, 1971, Secretary of State of New Jersey. Accessed October 6, 2016.
- Sullivan, Ronald. "Jersey Officials Confirm 3 Named by Brennan; Legislators Deny They Are 'Too Comfortable' With Organized Criminals", The New York Times, January 4, 1969. Accessed October 6, 2016. "High state officials confirmed tonight the identities of the final three legislators who had been investigated after Assistant State Attorney General William J. Brennan 3d said that some lawmakers had been 'too comfortable with members of organized crime.'"
- Sullivan, Ronald. "Brennan Admits He Lacks Proof But Calls Charges 'Good Leads'", The New York Times, January 9, 1969. Accessed October 6, 2016.
- Sullivan, Ronald. "Two Legislators Chided in New Jersey; Panel States 'Disapproval' of Ridolfi and Selecky; 2 Jersey Legislators Are Chided by Special Panel", The New York Times, January 15, 1969. Accessed October 6, 2016.
- New Jersey Legislative Districts 1974–, New Jersey State Library. Accessed October 6, 2016. "5th DISTRICT - Part of Camden county: Audubon borough, Audubon Park borough, Barrington borough, Camden city, Haddon Heights borough, Haddon township, Hi-Nella borough, Magnolia borough, Mount Ephraim borough, Oaklyn borough, Somerdale borough, and Wood-Lynne borough."
- Results of the General Election Held November 6, 1973, Secretary of State of New Jersey. Accessed October 6, 2016.
- Janson, Donald. "Camden Mayor Seeks to Win 4 Elections in a Year", The New York Times, December 11, 1976. Accessed October 6, 2016. "He passed the first hurdle last month when he added the title of State Senator to the public offices he holds. That was in a special election to fill the unexpired term of John J. Horn, who resigned to become Commissioner of Labor and Industry."
- Waldron, Martin. "Trenton Topics", The New York Times, September 13, 1976. Accessed October 6, 2016. "Governor Byrne also plans to send to the Senate on Thursday his nomination of Senator John J. Horn of Camden as State Commissioner of Labor and Industry. This nomination is not likely to provoke any move to block it. Mr. Horn is to replace Commissioner Joseph A. Hoffman, who is resigning to run for Governor."
- Staff. Manual of the Legislature of New Jersey: 2004 Edition, p. 500. Lawyers Diary and Manual, LLC. ISBN 9781577411871. Accessed October 6, 2016.
- Johnson, Rudy. "Trenton Topics", The New York Times, December 10, 1976. Accessed October 6, 2016. "John J. Horn, the Acting Commissioner of the State Department of Labor and Industry called today for support of the Illegal Alien Employment Prohibition Act. The bill provides for penalties against employers who knowingly hire illegal aliens—some of whom earn from $5 to $10 an hour.... 'If the services' figures are accurate, then the estimated number of illegal aliens holding jobs represent more than half of our total unemployed. Our most current report shows that we are now suffering with an unemployment rate of 11.3 percent, with over 360,000 out of work.'"
- Waggoner, Walter H. "Trenton Topics; New Labor Commissioner Outlines Agency Plans", The New York Times, December 17, 1976. Accessed October 6, 2016. "With New Jersey's 11.3 percent unemployment rate — more than 360,000 people—one of the highest in the nation, Mr. Horn also voiced concern over the estimated total of 200,000 aliens holding jobs in the state. He said his department would step up its support of the 'Illegal Aliens Prohibition Act,' pending before the State Legislature, which would penalize employers for hiring illegal aliens beyond the present fines that may be levied for violation of wage and hours laws."
- Laplaca, Bryan. "Back in the Day - Dec. 15, 1976: Illegal alien job ban urged", Suburban Trends, December 13, 2011. Accessed October 6, 2016. "Dec. 15, 1976; John J. Horn, acting commissioner of the N.J. Department of Labor and Industry, recommended passage of 'The Illegal Alien Employment Prohibition Act'.... Governing Brendan Byrne joined with Horn's plea. 'As far as I am concerned, we must take every step possible to eliminate this situation that in the end, not one single worker in New Jersey is being deprived of employment by an illegal alien illegally holding a job in our state,' Byrne said."