There are a few acceptable reasons for keeping your identity a secret. Such as:

The mob is looking for you in connection with your grand jury testimony.

You’ve just won the lottery, and you have a lot of freeloading relatives.

You’re Batman.

That’s about it. Everybody else who deliberately hides behind a cloak of anonymity does so out of a muddled combination of conspiracy and cowardice.

Which brings us to America Elects, a national political party that recently qualified to put its presidential ticket on the Maine ballot.

Except America Elects claims it’s not a political party. It says it’s just a beneficent nonprofit organization that, unlike the Democrats or Republicans, doesn’t have to disclose where it gets its money.

Once and future independent gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler, who’s a member of the group’s board of directors, has an excuse for that. Cutler told the Bangor Daily News, the donors “were afraid of retribution.”

From La Cosa Nostra?

From Uncle Ernie?

From the Joker?

Uh, no. Cutler said the source of that retribution would be the established political parties, who don’t want anyone else intruding on their turf. The GOP and Dem establishment could make life difficult for the wealthy hedge-fund managers who are alleged to be the financial underpinnings of America Elects by … I dunno … maybe approving a tax hike on wealthy hedge-fund managers — except for the ones who contribute to Democrats and Republicans.

Yeah, that must be it.

There’s one other problem with America Elects. It doesn’t actually have a presidential ticket. Those people who are donating money are doing so without a clue as to what sort of candidates they’ll be backing.

Actually, that’s sort of like being a Mitt Romney supporter.

AE plans to hold an online convention this spring, which will allow participants to choose its nominees. But to deter people like me who might mess up this populist process by casting their ballots for Batman, the choices will be limited to those approved by the official candidate-sorting-out committee of the party — oops, I meant to say the nonprofit organization that only incidentally resembles a party.

To date, this group has given no indication as to who’ll make the cut, except that the final twosome will have to include one Democrat and one Republican (presumably, not the kind inclined to exact retribution on AE’s funding sources) or one Dem and one independent or one member of the GOP and an unenrolled person. In other words, the organization is committed to a ticket that includes two people who disagree with each other on their fundamental approaches to governing.

Which isn’t that different from the Obama administration.

Cutler has modestly admitted that he won’t be a candidate for either president or vice president, possibly because no sane person has ever expressed any interest in him doing so. Instead, he’ll be devoting his time to pretending he’s not running for governor again in 2014.

As for why he’s messing around with America Elects, Cutler told the MaineToday Media newspapers, “We are seeing an alarming shrinkage in the number of American people who are participating in the political process.”

That must be one of those statements produced by the Gov. Paul LePage Institute of Political Baloney. If Cutler is talking about turnout in presidential races, it’s currently at the highest level since at least the 1960s. If he’s referring more to grassroots efforts, how about the 100,000-plus folks who signed petitions to put a marriage equality referendum on the Maine ballot later this year. Even more local? I just checked with my town hall, and it looks as if there’ll be contested races for every selectman seat in March.

Just because the public is disgusted with Congress, doesn’t mean it’s disengaged from the political process. It might even mean the opposite.

Also, Cutler seems to have missed the irony of defending a shadowy institution backed by faceless sources of moolah, while continuing to insist it was wrong for the authors of the Cutler Files to remain nameless. That attack website surfaced during his first gubernatorial bid and labeled him “a phony and a fraud,” backing those claims up with detailed information that Cutler has never refuted.

A complaint Cutler’s campaign filed with the state ethics commission eventually resulted in admissions by political consultant Dennis Bailey and Tom Rhoads, husband of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Rosa Scarcelli, that they created the site. Bailey is still appealing a fine he received for failing to disclose his affiliation.

Which brings us back to America Elects and its ticket of Who For President and Who Else for Vice President Who’s Not Too Much Like The First Who But Still Displays Outward Signs Of Compatibility That Are Convincing Enough To Fool The Average Voter.

How about Cutler and Bailey?

Tom Brady and Eli Manning? Madonna and Lady Gaga? Liam Neeson and a wolf? Send your nominations to me at