Gov. Bruce Rauner made the cover of the conservative National Review in a scathing critique dubbing him "the worst Republican governor in America."
The governor already has been called a vulnerable Republican by Democratic groups seeking to oust him next year.
And some conservative Republicans have become disenchanted over his signing of a bill expanding taxpayer funding of abortion.
But the cover story -- complete with unflattering caricature -- in the December issue of the National Review, often called the "Bible of American conservatism," is perhaps the highest-level criticism yet of the first-term governor from Winnetka.
The story details what it dubs a "betrayal" -- sparked, author John J. Miller writes, by Rauner's signing of the abortion bill.
Rauner in April said he wouldn't support the measure, but he shocked many, on both sides of the aisle, when he signed it in August. That prompted outrage from many anti-abortion Republicans.
Rauner's campaign focused on Democratic Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan in reacting to the story.
"We're glad National Review pointed out that Mike Madigan and his cronies have consistently blocked Governor Rauner's reform agenda just to protect their own corrupt practices," campaign spokesman Justin Giorgio said.
"Governor Rauner will keep fighting to make Illinois a better place to live and work for everyone by working to lower property taxes, increasing school choice and eliminating job-killing regulations."
• This report was produced in partnership with the Chicago Sun-Times. For related coverage, check chicago.suntimes.com.