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Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies is getting strategic, and to the tune of six figures. The advocacy group has spent $650,000 on advertising buys in Albuquerque, N.M.; Columbus, Ohio; and Las Vegas - all spots where President Obama is pitching his energy plan this week.

“Bad energy policies mean energy prices we can’t afford,” the 30-second spot says, and it urges viewers to contact the White House and Congress.

“Instead of delivering practical solutions to make energy more affordable, President Obama is pursuing restrictive and naive policies that are hurting families at the pump and in their utility bills,” says Steven Law, president of the group. “There are plenty of supply-boosting solutions Obama could adopt immediately, but he remains obsessed with impractical sideshows like algae and Solyndra business schemes.”

The White House has its own interpretation and is intent on increasing “American-made energy” and “reducing our reliance on foreign oil, most notably through the historic fuel economy standards the President has established, which will nearly double the efficiency of the vehicles we drive and save families $1.7 trillion at the pump.”

ON THE RADAR

It will go on for eight hours and promises a cast of thousands. The Reason Rally for atheists, humanists, agnostics and secularists on the Mall this Saturday is billed as the world’s largest assembly of “Godless” folk. There will be a children’s tent and child care, videos via Atheist TV, bright merchandise, VIP seating, two dinner galas, a pre-rally lobbying outreach, one after-party and celebrity guests, including comedian Eddie Izzard and Discovery Channel “Mythbuster” host Adam Savage.

HBO host Bill Maher and magician Penn Jillette will offer pre-taped greetings. They have political company. Former California Rep. Pete Stark also will send a video message, as will Sen. Tom Harkin, Iowa Democrat, who says he welcomes “those who reject all religious faith.” Mr. Harkin is not shy and already has shared his video with Roll Call.

POLL DU JOUR

• 54 percent of Americans say the Republican Party is “friendly” toward religion; 65 percent of Republicans and 48 percent of Democrats agree.

• 39 percent overall say the Obama administration is friendly toward religion; 15 percent of Republicans and 59 percent of Democrats agree.

• 35 percent overall say the Democratic Party is friendly toward religion; 13 percent of Republicans and 57 percent of Democrats agree.

• 51 percent say “religious conservatives have too much control over the GOP; 34 percent of Republicans and 62 percent of Democrats agree.

• 41 percent say liberals “who are not religious” have too much control over the Democratic party; 60 percent of Republicans and 28 percent of Democrats agree.

• 38 percent overall say politicians talk about religion too much; 24 percent of Republicans and 46 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life survey of 1,503 U.S. adults conducted March 7-11.

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