No Labels and the Need for More Party Animals

As you may know, the new No Labels group was officially launched yesterday in New York City.  Upwards of 1,000 activists from across the country gathered at Columbia University with the stated goal of restoring civility to the politics of the two-party state by "putting our labels aside to do what's best for America."  The group's leadership appears adamant that they are not seeking to form a nascent third party movement but rather aim to bolster moderates and centrists whether Democrat, Republican or Independent.  Ironically, however, the organization's first mini-scandal has inadvertently underscored the desire and need for third party and independent alternatives to the Democratic-Republican two-party state.  One of the group's signature designs was lifted whole cloth from the work of designer Thomas Porostocky.  The NYT City Room reports that elements of the No Labels website and the set design at the launch event:
included a grabby graphic of a menagerie of animals — giraffes, seals, dogs, butterflies, moose, hippopotami — that are blue on top and red on bottom like the standard Democrat donkey and Republican elephant.

If the graphic looks familiar, that’s because it bears a very, very striking resemblance to one that is at least five years old — and belongs to someone else. The older graphic was created by the designer Thomas Porostocky and included in a book compiled by the graphic artist Milton Glaser titled “The Design of Dissent.” Since 2008, Mr. Porostocky has been using it as the logo of his own political organization, More Party Animals, the mission of which is also to encourage the development of alternatives to Republican and Democrat.  [Emphasis added.]
The No Labels design team has now admitted that the imagery was cribbed and apologized to the original artist.  Again from the NYT:
The advertising agency veteran whose firm designed the graphic for the fledgling centrist political organization No Labels acknowledged Tuesday morning that his design was taken whole cloth from the logo of another political group.

The ad man, Dave Warren, said this morning that a designer he hired had grabbed the logo featuring red-white-and-blue animals from the Web site of the group More Party Animals and incorporated it in the design. 
The stated purpose of More Party Animals is to foster the development of new political parties and aid in the development of alternatives to the dictatorship of the two-party state.  From the group's website:
Let's face it, a two-animal circus is pretty lame.  So why aren't there more animals in the US political ring?  More Party Animals is an apolitically-political idea born out of heartfelt disenchantment with the status quo.  As the current system continues to polarize this country, we strongly believe America is in need of a wider selection of political parties.

We say our idea is apolitical because More Party Animals is steadfastly devoted to being policy-free.  Our animals represent a potential symbol for new beliefs, not the beliefs themselves.  That, we leave up to you.

Our purpose is to encourage and help people start their own parties, promote their own ideas and create a genuine alternative that might actually catch on.  More choice leads to better results . . . it's the American way.  
As Talking Points Memo reports, No Labels has now scrubbed the animals from its site.

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