POLITICO Playbook: EXCLUSIVE: Winner of the Spencer Zwick primary + IJReview partners with ABC for N.H. debate

EXCLUSIVE — Spencer Zwick to chair America Rising PAC, the GOP oppo network founded by Matt Rhoades and Joe Pounder: One of the most-courted power players for 2016 has been Spencer Zwick, who raised nearly a billion dollars as Mitt Romney’s finance chair and confidant in ’08 and ‘12. America Rising PAC will announce today that Zwick will become chairman of the two-year-old organization, making him neutral for 2016.

“The move marks a reunion for Zwick and Rhoades who both played key roles in … Romney’s … Presidential campaigns,” America Rising says in a forthcoming release. “Zwick will continue … as a Managing Partner at Solamere Capital … and will be contributing to America Rising as a volunteer.”

Rhoades remains chair of America Rising LLC, which is client-driven and is a vendor of research and tracking, and Pounder is its president. Colin Reed will continue as executive director of America Rising super PAC, a 527 that is the communication arm for the LLC. The release says: “For the next 17 months, America Rising … will be deeply involved in truth-squading Hillary Clinton and Democrat candidates for … Senate and House. It will be neutral in the Republican Presidential primary.”

By Mike Allen (@mikeallen; mallen@politico.com), and Daniel Lippman (@dlippman; dlippman@politico.com)

QUINNIPIAC swing-state poll out at 6 a.m., “Clinton, Rubio close in Ohio, Pennsylvania” : Fla.: Clinton 47, Rubio 44 … Ohio: Kasich 47, Clinton 40; Clinton 43, Rand 43 … Penn.: Rubio 44, Clinton 43; Rand 45, Clinton 44. … “Voters in each state say by margins of 8 to 14 … points that [Clinton] is NOT honest and trustworthy.” http://bit.ly/1fg8kYw

FIRST LOOK — “IJReview Partnering with ABC News for [N.H.] GOP Primary Debate” — Release out later today: “JReview, a leading social-first news company, will partner with ABC News to host [the debate] at St. Anselm College [in Manchester] on Saturday, February 6 [between Iowa and N.H.] … The debate will air live in primetime on … ABC… ‘New Hampshire voters are independent-minded, they love their country and just plain enjoy discussing politics, and that means New Hampshire is truly IJ country,” stated IJReview founder Alex Skatell. … IJReview is now one of the most trafficked websites in the U.S.” http://bit.ly/1JXgsYZ

SNEAK PEEK — Preview of Hillary’s S.C. remarks: “Clinton will hold a forum [this] afternoon at Trident Technical College in North Charleston … to discuss the need for youth job training and apprenticeships. … Like she did in her launch, Hillary Clinton will talk about how this commitment to youth employment is rooted in her personal experience and the experience of her mom on their first jobs. … Clinton will call for a tax credit for businesses for every apprentice they hire.

“The proposal would put forward a tax credit for businesses of $1,500 per apprentice. The proposal would insist on accountability for employment and earnings outcomes for programs receiving the credit. This proposal builds on bipartisan efforts such as those by Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Tim Scott (R-SC), as well as Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Susan Collins” (R-Maine.)

— WHAT S.C. IS READING — The (Columbia) State p. A1, below fold, “Clinton must make case to SC women,”by Jamie Self: “Clinton- who makes her second visit to South Carolina on Wednesday since declaring her candidacy — should not count on S.C. women voting for her just because she is a woman. … [W]omen do not vote almost exclusively Democratic, as African Americans tend to.” http://bit.ly/1BlRbpT

IN FACEBOOK ACTION for the candidates’ launch day, DONALD TRUMP was ahead of every Republican and behind only Hillary, knocking Ted Cruz out of second: 3.4 million people and 6.4 million interactions (likes, posts, comments, shares).

— N.Y. Post wood, with a gold “TRUMP” sign mounted over 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., “Donald: I’ll make White House mine.” See the cover. http://bit.ly/1uTkiZw

— WHAT IOWA IS READING — Des Moines Register p. 1A, below fold, “Trump’s challenge: Turn celebrity into support — Humbler persona could aid newest candidate,” by Josh Hafner: “Tuesday’s announcement by Trump, 69, marked his first official campaign launch after publicly toying with running for president ahead of the 1988, 2000 and 2012 elections. Calling himself ‘the greatest jobs president that God ever created,’ … Trump [said:] ‘I’m really rich.’” http://dmreg.co/1MKrK2b

— “The 10 best lines from Donald Trump’s announcement speech: It’s hard to pick just 10,” by Adam B. Lerner: “5. On the economy: ‘I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created.’” http://politi.co/1R7yDM4 … “Donald Trump’s greatest 2016 tweets,” by Nick Gass: http://politi.co/1N1ut8f

— “Neil Young to Donald Trump: Don’t Rock in My Free World,” by Mother Jones’ David Corn: “When … Trump strode on to the stage … a rock and roll anthem blared: Neil Young’s ‘Rockin’ in the Free World.’ It was an odd choice, given that the 1989 song seemed to slam a Republican administration for not giving a damn about the poor. … A statement issued to Mother Jones for Young by his longtime manager Elliot Roberts suggests Young was not pleased by Trump’s use of the song: ‘Donald Trump’s use of ‘Rockin’ in the Free World’ was not authorized. Mr. Young is a longtime supporter of Bernie Sanders.’” http://bit.ly/1fg8Gyk

— LATE-NIGHT BEST — “Jon Stewart Thanks Trump for ‘Making My Last 6 Weeks My Best 6 Weeks’” — Video http://bit.ly/1CcP3ft … “Colbert Makes Huge Announcement About Trump’s 2016 Announcement” — Video http://bit.ly/1BlKggz

WHO THEY ARE: WSJ A1, “THE FLORIDA TIES BEHIND THE RISE OF JEB BUSH: GOP candidate spent early years making his own path while tapping family network in business and politics,” by Christopher S. Stewart and Beth Reinhard: “The dichotomy speaks to a core challenge of Mr. Bush’s campaign: explaining to voters that ‘I am my own man’ … while banking on his family’s fundraising network. … Archives of White House correspondence [during his dad’s presidency] show how Mr. Bush advocated for Miami allies.” http://on.wsj.com/1Lf9XTp

** A message from Nuclear Matters: Providing more than 60% of America’s carbon-free electricity, existing, state-of-the-art nuclear energy plants play a vital role in achieving our clean-energy and carbon-reduction goals. The industry also supports more than 100,000 jobs nationally and provides critical tax revenue locally for roads, schools and other public priorities. Learn more at NuclearMatters.com. **

GET SMART FAST — WashPost 2-col. lead, “Killing terror leaders but not al-Qaeda: ‘DECAPITATION’ STRIKES PROVE LIMITED — U.S. confirms death of Yemen branch’s leader,” by Greg Miller: “In separate strikes last week on veteran al-Qaeda leaders, the United States demonstrated again the extent to which it has perfected an almost eerie capability to … deliver lethal blows from above. But the continued spread of al-Qaeda’s ideology and the emergence of brutal new offshoots, including the Islamic State, have underscored the limitations of a U.S. strategy that remains largely reliant on ‘decapitation’ strikes.” http://wapo.st/1TtaAve

“How the U.S. Tracked Down Al-Qaeda’s Yemen Chief,” by Bloomberg View’s Eli Lake and Josh Rogin:”U.S. officials … tell us that the U.S. was able to continue to monitor [Nasir] al-Wuhayshi’s network without spies on the ground and with no Yemeni counter-terrorism cooperation. … CIA zeroed in … by building a methodical case on his whereabouts over months.” http://bv.ms/1QCvY29


— SNEAK PEEK — “Lindsey Graham’s memoir blunt about his upbringing: He shares stories of tough times and failed relationships,” by Manu Raju: “In a … 126-page autobiography [being published today, with a little help from Mark Salter], called ‘My Story,’ … Graham offers vivid detail about his rough-and-tumble roots … Graham … had two close relationships during his 20s, while he was serving in the Air Force in Germany. A woman named Carol, an Air Force JAG officer working in England, was a ‘great lawyer … and we had a blast together.’ … A relationship with Sylvia, a Lufthansa flight attendant, became ‘serious quickly,’ and he thought, at one point, he would propose. But family considerations forced her to return to Vienna.” http://politi.co/1J4hsfm

— FACEBOOK POST OF THE DAY: Hillary posts a pic of a kid’s missing school note, which she signs: “If you have to miss school, make sure you have a note.” The note reads: “Dear Mrs. Simons, Im missing school today because I’m going to meet Hillary. Ollie Olsen (9 years old) … Hillary Rodham Clinton* really!” http://on.fb.me/1IOskez

HOT VIDEO — “Slow Jam the News with Jeb Bush”: “After announcing his 2016 campaign, Jeb Bush joins Jimmy and The Roots to slow jam the news.” http://bit.ly/1LgZOlY

— JEB interview with “Hannity” last night: “Bush … said [of] Rubio, ‘It’s a little awkward when you have a good friend that’s running for the same position. But that’s just the way it is. It doesn’t bother me a bit.’ When asked about whether his last name is a liability he noted, ‘I’m blessed to be George and Barbara Bush’s son’ and added, ‘I don’t sit on the couch and get all hung up about this. I’m blessed to be Jeb Bush.’”

— KATIE PACKER GAGE on Politico, “Don’t Repeat Mitt Romney’s Mistake on Immigration: “As deputy campaign manager [for] Mitt Romney, … I saw first-hand how the rhetoric on immigration during the GOP primary … painted our party in a negative light and came back to bite us in the general election. … [M]y firm, Burning Glass Consulting, [found] that a taking hard-line position on immigration loses … more votes in the general election than it wins … in the GOP primaries.” http://politi.co/1JX7FGu

— JULEANNA GLOVER on WSJ.com, “Jeb Bush’s Strong Start”: “The story that’s going largely unnoticed is that Jeb Bush is ahead. … He’s made a few mistakes-marginal ones, but they are covered as significant because they fall outside the delta of reliable performance in which Mr. Bush operates.” http://on.wsj.com/1JX7o6A

HAPPENING TOMORROW — YOU’RE INVITED! Politico holds an event on the “Future of the Roberts Court” with two panels, “Chief Justice John Roberts: Hard-liner or heretic?” (moderated by Josh Gerstein) and “Can Tech and New Media Drive SCOTUS Transparency?” (moderated by Dahlia Lithwick). Speakers include with DOJ alum Viet Dinh, EPPC’s Ed Whelan, SCOTUSblog’s Tom Goldstein, AbovetheLaw.com’s David Lat and Rep. Gerry Connolly. RSVP here http://bit.ly/1cM4nZy

TRADE WAR — “House GOP poised to pursue fast-track without aid for workers,” by Jake Sherman and Manu Raju: “The House is on the brink of scheduling a standalone vote on giving … Obama fast-track trade authority without accompanying worker assistance legislation … The House could vote on Trade Promotion Authority as early as this week … Under the current plan, House Republican leadership would likely use an already-approved Senate bill to move fast-track authority, which would allow … McConnell’s chamber to avoid a round of votes.” http://politi.co/1HRJHwr

FIRST POST ON MEDIUM by EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy, “A strong, competitive American economy depends on climate action” http://bit.ly/1CcOMsX

FOURTH QUARTER — “Obama axes trans fat,” by Helene Bottemiller Evich: “The FDA issued a final decision … that gives the food industry three years to phase out partially hydrogenated oils, the main source of trans fat.” http://politi.co/1QDbCps

STAT OF THE DAY — “China has four million millionaires: survey” — AFP: http://yhoo.it/1GMYdVr

CLICKER — “JAKE TAPPER Draws Cartoon for the Roll Call 60th Anniversary” http://bit.ly/1emIIZP

PIC DU JOUR — ‏?@HBO: “FIRST LOOK. ?@KerryWashington as Anita Hill on the set of the HBO Film, CONFIRMATION.” http://bit.ly/1KXVkTp

HAPPENING TODAY: In a speech at noon at the Economic Club of Washington, GE CEO Jeff Immelt will say, according to excerpts: “Ex-Im Bank will expire on June 30. In two weeks, the U.S. could be without trade promotion authority or an export bank. We will be in full retreat on the global economic stage.”

BUSINESS BURST — Ben White’s Morning Money: The Carlyle Group, in “Currency Wars: The Fed Strikes Back,” out later this morning, ahead of Janet Yellen presser: “While the Fed is likely to tighten later this year, the [European Central Bank] will remain on hold for some time to come. The result is likely to be renewed upward pressure on the dollar and rapid growth in European corporate income as margins expand towards pre-recession norms.” 5-page PDF http://bit.ly/1J3ukCC

SILICON VALLEY FYI — “Introducing a more seamless video experience with autoplay,” by Baljeet Singh on Twitter’s blog: “It used to be that watching a video on Twitter required several taps. … Now native videos, Vines and GIFs will begin to play back automatically. So you can keep up with the action without missing a Tweet and get a better sense of what’s been shared instantly.” http://bit.ly/1J4hpQV

COMING ATTRACTIONS — “On Sunday in San Francisco at the U.S. Conference of Mayors annual summer meeting, AirBnB will release a report by Gene Sperling on ‘How Airbnb Combats Middle Class Income Stagnation.’ Sperling will join company CEO Brian Chesky and chair of the USCM Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson to discuss the report before all the mayors on Sunday. Johnson has made what he calls Cities 3.0 — how cities are enjoying a renaissance as they have become the hubs for technology — the thematic of his tenure as chair of the conference. … [O]n Friday following Obama’s speech to the mayors, AirBnB, along with S.F.-based Lyft and Instacart, will be hosting one of its iconic late night, people for people parties at a AirBnB Victorian — USCM attendees should be on look out for the wristband invite.”

MEDIAWATCH — POLITICO PRO HIRES — Marty Kady emails the staff: “Amy Schatz is joining us as deputy technology editor. Amy comes to Politico from Re/code … where she served as a Washington-based editor and reporter covering tech policy, and recently wrote a five part series on D.C. innovation. Before joining Re/code, she spent a decade covering tech policy and other issues for the Wall Street Journal. … On our Energy team, Nick Juliano will join as deputy editor. Nick comes … after a stellar career on the energy beat as a dogged reporter for Environment & Energy …

“[Energy’s] newest reporter will be Eric Wolff … from SNL Financial … [W]e’re shifting beats for Alex Guillén, who made Morning Energy a must-read across the energy sector nationwide and will now take over primary coverage of EPA … Brianna Ehley … will help us expand our coverage of health care providers. She joins Politico from The Fiscal Times.”

— “MSNBC Producer Leaving to Join Bernie Sanders Campaign,” by TVNewser’s Chris Ariens: “Arianna Jones, a producer for MSNBC’s The Ed Show, is leaving the network … [and will] be deputy communications manager for the campaign. The University of Vermont graduate will be returning to the state to work out of Sanders’ campaign headquarters in Burlington.” http://bit.ly/1emCwRz

— “Janine Gibson new editor-in-chief of Buzzfeed-UK,” by Politico Europe’s Alex Spence: “Buzzfeed has hired the editor who oversaw The Guardian’s coverage of the Edward Snowden leaks to lead an aggressive expansion in the UK. Janine Gibson left The Guardian last month after being overlooked for the top editorial position.” http://politi.co/1TsRYLV

WELCOME TO THE WORLD — NBC’s Peter Alexander: “Emma Pink Alexander … was born [yesterday] … with a big head of gorgeous dark hair! Mom (WJLA-TV news anchor Alison Starling), Dad, Emma and proud big sister Ava are all doing great!” http://bit.ly/1MK8528

— John Ellison, senior media director at Precision Network, and Melissa Kiedrowicz Ellison, legislative director for Rep. Linda Sánchez, have welcomed their first baby. Henry Robert Ellison was born yesterday. Pichttp://bit.ly/1cZN5Z4

— Alexandra Reeve Givens, senior counsel at Senate Judiciary and daughter of Christopher Reeves, and Garren Givens, director of Presidential Innovation Fellows and Deputy Executive Director of 18F, have welcomed their first child … Christopher Russel Reeve Givens, born Saturday. Pic http://bit.ly/1TsQQHW

SPOTTED at #KelliandWill engagement party for Kelli Harrison and Will Ritter, hosted by Ron Kaufman at his Capitol Hill digs: Kevin Madden, Alex and Candice Wong, Abe and Ashley Adams, Katie Packer and her beau Rich Beeson, Leah Malone, Phil Rucker, Dana Bash, Joey Smith, Ashley Parker, Vicki Blanton, Brian Bartlett, Jill Barclay, Maeve Reston, Kaitlyn McClure, Joe Craft, Sara Murray, Annie Donaldson, Annie Starke, Jim Bognet, Caitlin Dorman, Eli and Jenna Miller, JT Jezierski, Terry Sullivan, former White House photog Kimberlee Hewitt, Ryan Meerstein, Amanda Henneberg, Cassie Alsfeld, Natalie Boyse, John Rhoden, Jake Kastan, Kristine Michalson, Casey Smith, Molly and Danny O’Driscoll, Mary-Margaret Hasslocher, Ashley O’Connor, Courtney Johnson, Mark Wagar, Drew Aldridge, a special appearance by WILSON. Guests feasted on BBQ straight from the pit and Grinnin’ Ritter Manhattans. Pic http://on.fb.me/1CcNePt

GRETCHEN CARLSON’s new book: “The Fox News anchor and former Miss America debuted … ‘Getting Real’ [yesterday]. Her parents and sister flew in from Minnesota and surprised her for her 400+ person book kick off event Monday night at First Presbyterian Church of Greenwich, Conn. … Fun Fact: Gretchen is a champion jump roper!” 12-sec. video of her jump-roping http://on.fb.me/1GoTF64 $19.38 on Amazon http://amzn.to/1FjvhPn

TRANSITIONS — “Voter Participation Center Names Mark Glaze as Executive Director” — release: “Mark Glaze, the former head of … [Everytown for Gun Safety], has been named Executive Director of Voter Participation Center (VPC), the non-profit, non-partisan organization that is spearheading a national campaign to register and turn out unmarried women and other historically underrepresented groups in America.” http://bit.ly/1JX7E5q


Stolen From Astros, Investigators Say,” by Michael S. Schmidt: “Front-office personnel for the St. Louis Cardinals … are under investigation by the F.B.I. and Justice Department prosecutors, accused of hacking into an internal network of the Houston Astros to steal closely guarded information about players.” http://nyti.ms/1MKah9T

— LEBRON SURRENDERS — S.F. Chronicle, “DUBS [Ws] WIN THE TITLE: Curry and Company overwhelm Cleveland, 105–97, in Game 6 of the NBA Finals — Warriors prove to be a deeper, more skilled and more cohesive team than their Cleveland rivals … Warriors beat Cavs, capture first title in 40 years … Victory parade to be held in Oakland on Friday.” http://bit.ly/1LgAZGO

— STANLEY CUP CHAMPIONS — Chicago Tribune banner, “Elated fans try to catch a glimpse of the Stanley Cup as the Blackhawks take a victory lap around Chicago — David Hough column, “THE HAWKS A DYNASTY? CROWN ‘EM” (online: “Bowmans true hockey dynasty with 17 Stanley Cups between them since 1976”: “When Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman handed the Stanley Cup to his father, Scotty, it removed any doubt. A hockey dynasty indeed exists in Chicago: the Bowmans.

“But the hotter topic around town involves whether the Hawks winning three Cups in six seasons deserves the dynasty label. The D-word was attached to the Hawks even before the music stopped Monday night at the United Center. Suddenly, it became cool to coronate the Hawks.” http://trib.in/1R7QJgX

BIRTHWEEK (was yesterday): Human Rights Campaign’s Adam Talbot (h/t Jason Rahlan)

BIRTHDAYS : Tory Burch … Rep. Robert Hurt (h/t Charlie)… Desiree Barnes, White House press wrangler extraordinaire, affectionately known as “D-Baby Barnes,” is 27 (hat tips: boyfriend Sean Rapelyea, Antoinette Rangel and Amy Brundage) … Newt Gingrich is 72 … Matt Canter, S.V.P. at Global Strategy Group, is 35 (h/t Brian Digate) … Matt Miller of Viavono, a DOJ and DSCC alum, celebrates his first Father’s Day this weekend. … Capital New York’s Alex Weprin … Jon Leibowitz of Davis Polk, formerly FTC chair (h/t Ruth) … Diane Blagman of Greenberg Traurig (h/ts Jon Haber) … Katie Grant, comms. director and senior advisor for House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer … Chris Bedford, editor-in-chief at TheDC News Foundation and senior editor at the Daily Caller … Chad Clanton … DLCC’s Nate Thomas … June Shih (hubby tip: Josh Gerstein) … NH1's Paul Steinhauser, a CNN alum … former PA Gov. Tom Corbett … WJLA’s Scott Thuman … Michael Grisso, co-founder and principal of Prescient Digital … USA Today’s Nicole Auerbach … HuffPo’s Christina Wilkie …

… Linda Chavez … Craig Roberts, CoS for Rep. John Shimkus … Emily Adams of Agency CHIEF … Miro Korenha, celebrating by checking an item off her bucket list and seeing the Rolling Stones live tonight in Nashville (h/t fiancée Kurt Bardella) … Pat Bauer, a Biden advance and Clinton 08 alum and now professional ski patroller at Park City Mountain Resort … Chris Jennings … Joyce Johnson … Rob Johnson … Joni Klaassen … Aaron Harrison … John Shaw, executive director and CEO of Natural Products Association … AAAE’s Melissa Sabatine … Jeffrey Grimshaw … Priscilla Jones Stanzel … Robert Becker … Janice R. Lachance … Katie Koenen Wright … David Dolkart … Barry Manilow is 72 … Joe Piscopo is 64 … Greg Kinnear is 52 … Olympic gold-medal speed skater Dan Jansen is 50 … tennis player Venus Williams is 35 … actor Damani Roberts is 19 (h/ts AP)

DESSERT — “Restoration Hardware is betting that Americans want even more $7,000 couches,” by WashPost’s Sarah Halzack: “Instead of slugging it out with Pottery Barn and West Elm for budget-conscious customers, it pivoted upscale and became a mecca for $7,015 linen couches and $9,195 crystal chandeliers. … Now, the company is … launching a new ‘mirror image’ brand [RH Modern] that has the same price point but a different vibe.” http://wapo.st/1FlKxLx

** A message from Nuclear Matters: Some of America’s existing nuclear energy plants face early closure due to current economic and policy conditions. Providing more than 60% of America’s carbon-free electricity, existing, state-of-the-art nuclear energy plants play a vital role in achieving our clean-energy and carbon-reduction goals. The industry also supports more than 100,000 jobs nationally and provides critical tax revenue locally for roads, schools and other public priorities.

If we want to keep America working, we need policymakers to support policies that will keep safe and reliable nuclear energy plants working for all of us. Voice your support for sensible policies that drive our national economy and join us at NuclearMatters.com. **

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