Exercise caution, as it’s a serious charge and there’s no proof of guilt yet.

But let’s just say that if it pans out, we’ll be playing the ultimate round of “Name That Party!”

The son of state Rep. Mike Kernell has been contacted by authorities in connection with a probe into the hacking of personal e-mail of vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, Kernell told The Tennessean.

Kernell, a Memphis Democrat, said his 20-year-old son David had been contacted by authorities investigating the hacking of Palin’s personal e-mail account, the newspaper reported on its Web site this afternoon.

Jim Hoft notes that one of the boss’s commenters was pointing in this direction last night. Here’s what “rubico” had to say about his motive, per MM’s reproduction of his comment in yesterday’s post:

I read though the emails… ALL OF THEM… before I posted, and what I concluded was anticlimactic, there was nothing there, nothing incriminating, nothing that would derail her campaign as I had hoped, all I saw was personal stuff, some clerical stuff from when she was governor…. And pictures of her family

I then started a topic on /b/, peeps asked for pics or gtfo and I obliged, then it started to get big

Earlier it was just some prank to me, I really wanted to get something incriminating which I was sure there would be, just like all of you anon out there that you think there was some missed opportunity of glory, well there WAS NOTHING, I read everything, every little blackberry confirmation… all the pictures, and there was nothing, and it finally set in, THIS internet was serious business, yes I was behind a proxy, only one, if this shit ever got to the FBI I was fucked, I panicked, i still wanted the stuff out there but I didn’t know how to rapidshit all that stuff, so I posted the pass on /b/, and then promptly deleted everything, and unplugged my internet and just sat there in a comatose state

He can’t be an experienced hacker if he used only one proxy and, er, left identifying code in the screencap he took. Stand by for updates. Exit question: Slap on the wrist for a first-term offense thanks to daddy’s connections, assuming Kernell’s the guilty party?

Update: Via Stacy McCain, Kernell’s father says no one’s contacted him or his son about the case — although he’s vague when asked if his son’s involved in any way.