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If you thought the Federal ethics charges against Mary McCarty and her band of merry Palm Beach County and City Commissioners was scandalous enough, you haven't heard what the California Avocado Commission has been up to in the past three years. McCarty, after all, only accepted a few free hotel rooms and pushed a couple of jobs in her husband's path. But according to a state audit reported in today's New York Times, the folks who are paid by California farmers to promote everybody's favorite vegetable (or is it a fruit?) have been using commission money for everything from Mighty Ducks tickets to shopping sprees at Ann Taylor and Nordstrom. Purchases by commission members included an iPod, vitamins, gym memberships and workout clothing, a plasma TV, luxury hotel rooms, a vacuum cleaner, and a garage renovation totaling $300,000 in misspent funds. Now that's what I call creative misspending! Our local commissioners could definitely take a lesson from California in how to make avocadoes into guacamole.