Friday, June 25, 2004 | 8:43 a.m.
The women of NOW may meet the Crazy Girls of the Riviera next month.
The 2004 national conference of the National Organization for Women is booked for three days in Las Vegas and will bring political leaders, scientists and authors to the home of the famous Crazy Girls bronze statue.
The NOW conference theme is "Don't Gamble with Women's Rights."
When the Riviera unveiled a life-size bronze statue of the dancers outside the hotel in 1997, the National Organization for Women staged a protest.
And NOW's was not the only protest.
An ad with the bare bottoms of seven of the eight Crazy Girls under the slogan, "No ifs ands or . . ." appeared on 250 taxicabs and attracted the attention of then-state Sen. Bill O'Donnell, R-Las Vegas, who objected to the anti-family message.
The leading women's rights organization is staging its national conference at the center of the controversy.
"Whatever your reasons, make plans now to spend July 16-18 with your NOW sisters in the glittery city," Kim Gandy, president of the National Organization for Women, said in the invitation.
Gandy said in the invitation that this year's conference will be one of the most important for strategizing, discussing and organizing for the 2004 November elections.
Those attending the NOW conference will have a chance to meet former Democratic presidential candidate Carol Moseley Braun, scientist and diversity expert Donna J. Nelson, author and radio host Laura Flanders -- whose new book, "The W Factor," is just out -- and writer-comedian Wendy Shanker, whose new book is "The Fat Girl's Guide to Life."
There will be a young feminist caucus planned by NOW's new Young Feminist Task Force.
Instead of rubbing the Crazy Girls bronze, as many visitors do, attendees can rub shoulders with NOW officials or participate in voter outreach training or the NOW Political Institute.
The deadline for online registration for the NOW conference is today. The first night of the conference is already sold out. The NOW Website is: www.now.org.