UPDATE, 1:30 p.m.: Got in touch with the president of the PAC. He said he was upset. Added comment to the end of the story.
A small New Jersey-based political action committee had its website torn to little, vulgar shreds last night by lunatics who appear to have come from the popular internet messageboard site 4chan. They reportedly got in by guessing the password, which was, uh, "p9ssw0rd."
PAC President Don Adams said Friday afternoon that the group was pursuing legal action.
(To be safe, assume none of the following links are safe for work.)
It looks like the craziness started sometime slightly before 10 p.m., at which time the entire site was blasted to smithereens, then documented by Reddit users. Any content that may have been on there was quickly replaced by racial slurs, the word dick over and over, and, occasionally, statements about the group's "blatant idiocy" and "inability to accept an opinion that differs even slightly from your own." There are reports that child pornography was posted briefly on the site. The Holocaust was also featured for a time.
The PAC raised about $27,000 in 2010 (this link is safe for work) and donated to politicians in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. It has raised almost nothing this election cycle, but presidential candidate Mitt Romney addressed the group last month. Its website, at independencehallteaparty.com, was still online and being actively vandalized at 3 a.m., though it seems prudent to avoid it for the time being.
As far as 4chan hacks go, the tea party group is pretty small beans -- , 4chan took down the websites of the Recording Industry Association of America and Motion Picture Association of America in 2010, and it was at least involved in the hacking of Sarah Palin's personal email address. This looks like it was just an easy target with "Tea Party" in the name.
"I really don't know if I want to make a comment about it," Adams said this afternoon. "We're an all-volunteer organization, and our goal is to try to limit government, lower taxes, and promote free enterprise. And if that's such an awful thing, there's obviously something wrong."
He also added, "There's obviously something wrong with the people who did this." He pointed to the Romney event as evidence that "we have been very effective, and I think that's a reason they've come after us... It's just very upsetting."