The Dallas Morning News has just published the results of a sweeping investigation of the Texas Emerging Technology Fund that suggests that taxpayer-financed grants were awarded to a long list of firms that made very large campaign donations to Gov. Rick Perry (R).

These are not isolated cases. The Morning News investigation yields a significant number of major Perry campaign donors receiving a significant number of large grants. This is a direct contrast with the integrity and sound management shown by former Houston Mayor Bill White, Perry's opponent for governor, who has long been a favorite of business leaders, political independents and many moderate Republicans during his landslide victories in Houston.

There should be a formal investigation of these monies that were given to Perry donors. Going forward, Perry should be stripped of all authority to choose which firms receive the grants. All future governors should be removed from any role choosing specific firms.

This growing scandal illustrates why the Texas gubernatorial campaign is garnering national attention and why White is proving to be a strong and tenacious competitor.

It is time for the Texas Tea Party leaders to reject Perry's campaign and consider supporting Bill White for governor. The Tea Party movements claims it is not partisan, and claims fiscal responsibility and fiscal integrity are at the heart of their movement.

Whether Texas Tea Partiers honor what they say about fiscal responsibility, more political independents and moderate Republicans will move to White as this scandal unfolds.

In 2010, Bill White is exactly the kind of independent can-do candidate voters are moving toward, while Rick Perry is exactly the kind of insider incumbent who has been in office too long, whom voters are moving against.

Will Texas Tea Partiers prove the integrity of their concern about fiscal responsibility and attack the abuses of public spending of Texas taxpayers' money suggested in the
Dallas Morning News investigation? Or will they reveal they are little more than an adjunct of the Republican Party and make excuses for these inexcusable abuses of taxpayer money that awarded substantial public monies to Perry campaign donors?

Bill White has held high office as a widely acclaimed mayor of Houston. He was an honorable steward of taxpayer money. He was an efficient, skilled and universally admired manager of the largest city in Texas.

Bill White was reelected by landslides and won more than 80 percent of all votes in his reelection campaigns. White was supported by moderate Republicans and political independents. He was strongly supported by the overwhelming majority of business leaders and small businesses in Houston, who respect White's honest, can-do, highly efficient management style.

This unfolding scandal will give a boost to Bill White's campaign, and convince even more Texans that Rick Perry is one of those insider incumbents who has simply been in office far too long, representing everything that voters resent in this election year.

This unfolding scandal suggests it is time for change in Texas. Texas voters are increasingly concluding that it is time to end the cronyism and insiderism that permeates Rick Perry's government, and bring in the honesty, efficiency and sound management that has been the hallmark of Bill White's career, and his campaign for governor.