Agust Gudmundsson is widely known as a technology innovator in the government sector. There is, however, a passion for politics and the democratic process that precedes Agust's governmental developments. Below are some excerpts taken from various publications demonstrating this background.
AGUST GUDMUNDSSON, former President and CEO of GOVT.com, Inc., began his career as a consultant for national, state, and local political campaigns by implementing his ideas of automating politics and government.
In March of 1989 he established Austin Professional Systems, the corporation that would evolve into GOVT.com in July 1999.
As a visionary in government solutions, he perceived the importance of the Internet in 1995.
He combined his extensive expertise in politics and computer programming to develop the software known as OurTown2000 -- the first Internet-based citizen-centric solution to address basic government problems. This product literally keeps city hall open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, while reducing, not increasing, public expenses. The program has gained widespread attention both from the news media and from public officials who saw OurTown2000 as a solution that maximizes citizen involvement in government, improves civic services, reduces costs to the taxpayer, and enhances the quality of life in communities.
Mr. Gudmundsson's uses of computerized databases helped him establish varied software clients, such as Mensa, the Independent Computer Consultants Association, United States Army Reserve Personnel Center, and the American Society of Association Executives.
Mr.Gudmundsson's political and governmental expertise has been utilized by winning campaigns that include the 1986 Cook County Sheriff's election, the 1988 U.S. Presidential Campaign for George Bush, the 1990 Illinois Governor's election, the 1992 Chicago Ward ReMap Referendum, the 1992 U.S. Presidential Campaign for Bill Clinton, the 1992-1996 Legislative and Constitutional races and the 1995 and 1999 Chicago Mayoral elections. He also designed the financial disclosure and reporting software for the 1996 Democratic National Convention.
Throughout the 1990's he developed and maintained the first independent and verifiably accurate database of all 6.6 million voters in Illinois, and offered election data services to federal, state and local campaigns. Those services included lists, survey samples and optical scanning for voter contact.
Recently he designed the facilities rental software used by the State Fair of West Virginia, the multimedia touch-screen visitors information kiosk located in the Lewisburg, WV city hall lobby and he has just completed designing database applications that help local governments comply with EPA water quality standards. Click here for information on one of those products, i4.
On a contract bases Gudmundsson has been designing web sites, for people such as Congressman Ken Hechler and providing data services to select government agencies. He repaired a large database for Fulton County, GA and salvaged the 911 GIS address database for Greenbrier County, West Virginia.
Prior to his political consulting career, Mr. Gudmundsson used his marketing expertise to help dramatically increase the number of skiers at Snowshoe Ski Resort in West Virginia. He also was responsible for overhauling and computerizing the resort's lodging reservations system, implementing one of the first of its kind computer-oriented marketing solutions in the ski industry.
In 1979 Agust Gudmundsson used Cassette Powered Terminals (CPT) to develop mailing lists for county candidates. In 1982 the system was split for a WV US Congressional campaign. Voters on a mainframe computer and supporters on a PC. The PC revolution had begun.
In 1986 Gudmundsson applied a higher level of math to a Cook County, IL race, using computer modeling to profile and target voters and set vote goals for every precinct. In-house targeting for telephone, door-to-door and direct mail was proven possible. The computer work was split between a mainframe, a mini and PCs. The campaign was a success and the vote total was within one-half of one percent (0.5%) of the projected target.
By 1988 PCs had finally evolved to the point that the mainframes and minis were no longer needed. The age of desk-top power had dawned. The caucus tracking system for Bob Dole's victory in the Iowa presidential primary was designed on a PC. The entire interactive voter contact campaign for George Bush's Chicago Lake Front General Election effort was managed on PCs.
After the 1990 election APS began developing a version of VCS that could be used by anyone at any level in politics.
In the winter of 1991 the Austin Professional Voter Contact System v1.0 was released to the public. Until now it was only available on a contract basis. This single move forever changed the face of direct voter contact campaigns. By the end of the 1992 Illinois primary, 30 VCS customers moved to the win column, including some notable upsets such as State Representative Nancy Kazak and Illinois Supreme Court Justice Nickels. At the other end of the political spectrum Jack Roeser, a pro-family tax fighter introduced this high-tech grass-roots technology to the emerging Christian Coalition.
Version 1.1 was introduced in time for the 1992 general election, and the results were just as impressive. State Senator Steven Raushenburg ran his program on a laptop. State Representative Angelo Saviano used two PCs to enter nightly canvass results. U.S. Congressman George Sangmeister provided workers with uniform walk sheets across his entire district, a district that stretched from Chicago to the beyond-collar rural counties.
In Chicago, U.S. Congressman Bobby Rush mailed his message to a district that housed over 300,000 voters, and U.S. President Bill Clinton was able to provide his workers with up-to-date election day runner, phoner and checker sheets one week before election day.
By April 1993 we added another 50 satisfied Township and Municipal clients. With version 2.0 we proved that we can support the small up-start campaigns as well as the giants. The remainder of 1993 was dedicated to the development of the ballot referendum and initiative sector - school bonds and gaming.
In 1994 APS moved into the mainstream of Illinois politics. Clients included Governor Jim Edgar, Attorney General James Ryan, Congressman Dan Rostenkowski and Secretary of State George Ryan. Twenty state legislators were added including State Senator Kathleen Parker. APS also began to expand beyond the Illinois boundaries by providing election services for two successful referendum to bring Riverboat Gambling into Indiana.
In 1995 APS provided all of the campaign software and voter contact services to Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley. APS was also engaged in 27 of the 42 contested Chicago City Council races. 26 of those 27 are now Chicago Aldermen. Mayor Schultz of Joliet and leaders of other municipalities also were added as successful APS clients. 1995 also marked the official movement of APS into the local school board and bond referenda campaigns, with notable success such as the Arlington Heights Casino Referendum.
In 1996 APS added Optical Scanning and Internet data transfer to their campaigns. The entire Illinois Senate Majority (31 Senators) now enjoys the progressive power of APS.
Just as Winchester cannot claim to have killed the buffalo, we cannot claim full responsibility for these victories. In all fairness to our customers we have to admit that they had a winning attitude and a plan before they met us. We are honored to have been a part of their victories. They all made good decisions, and we think one of those decisions was to use our products and services.
Because APS is a professional developer, we can promise the highest
quality software that you can buy for your campaign. We are not a bunch
of ex-politicos who decided to cash in on contacts with a quick-fix development.
Our products satisfy some of the most demanding customers in North America.
Political clients. All Illinois except Bob Dole – Iowa.
State - Executive
Governor Jim Edgar
Dawn Clark Netsch
Sec. State George Ryan
Atty Gen. Jim Ryan
Tres. Judy Barr-Topinka
State - Legislative
Senate Pres. Pate Philip, and
All 32 Illinois GOP State Senators
Various State Reps.
State - Judicial
Two State Supreme Court Justices
Over 50 Circuit and
Sub-circuit district judges
County Board Presidents
Gayle Franzen - DuPage
John Stroger - Cook
Sheriff O’Grady - Cook
Mayor / Council
Richard M. Daley - Chicago
26 of the 50 Chicago City Council Members
50 + local mayors throughout Illinois.
|Politics in a bottle? Almost|
What H. Ross Perot did for democracy with his money, Agust G. Gudmundsson is hoping to do with his technology.
Mr. Gudmundsson, a political junkie turned computer software developer, offers even the most independent politicians something only the big parties could provide in the past: computerized voter lists.
Using seven powerful personal computers in his Bartlett home, Mr. Gudmundsson, 39, has compressed statewide voter information into easy-to- manage disks that any pinky-ringed politico could handle.
The cost to get around the party's control: as little as $650.
'This is sort of bringing democracy to politics,' says Mr. Gudmundsson, a native of Iceland who was raised in Virginia and educated in the Republican politics of the 1970s and '80s.
The user-friendliness of Mr. Gudmundsson's system centers around its simple presentation of correct addresses(which Mr. Gudmundsson double-checks), nine-digit ZIP codes (which can trim a campaign's postage costs) and technical assistance that Mr. Gudmundsson farms out to Pascal Systems, a Chicago computer consultancy.
|'It's an election-winner,'
says Brent C. Bluthardt, who is managing the Schiller Park mayoral campaign
of his mother, Diane Latoria Bluthardt. Mr. Bluthardt notes that the software's
ability to hone campaign lists to targeted voters - female senior citizens,
for example - makes it particularly valuable.
With more independent - or at least, out of the mainstream - politicians testing the waters in politics, Mr. Gudmundsson estimates that his company, Austin Professional Systems Inc., can grow from its 1992 revenues of $180,000 to $500,000 in 1994, a congressional election year.
Mr. Gudmundsson moved to Illinois in 1986 to work on Republican executive Donald Rumsfeld's presidential campaign that never materialized. But he also can work with the other party: His partner in Austin Professional Systems is prominent Democrat Michael E. Lavelle, former chairman of the Chicago Board of Election Commissioners and now of the Oak Park law firm Lavelle Holden & Juneau Ltd.