I just read this thread and the whole time I was thinking; "Did you check the rotation?" Many centrifugal pumps will still pump in the 'forward' direction when spinning in the wrong direction, so that can throw you.
As far as the leaking; when tightening up that clamp around the pump housing, lightly tap around the clamp with a hammer/mallet as you tighten it. That can sometimes help. And of course, make sure the o-ring is seated correctly (I'm assuming it uses an o-ring there, I use similar pumps at work). TBH, those clamp-types often just don't seal that well.